Blog post 2: Protests and activism

Two articles are assigned this week. Read both articles. Find them in the Course Schedule and on Ares.

After reading the two articles (and making notes, as always), you will think about these two questions: (1) How do activists or protest movements use social media? (2) How do other actors (such as governments, or companies that control social media tools and apps) interfere with the online/mobile efforts of activists or protest movements? There are examples in the articles.

Content of the post: Using at least two specific points taken from the Youmans article and at least two specific points taken from the Valenzuela article, discuss goals that an activist group or protest movement can possibly achieve by using social media, AND how each of those goals might be thwarted by outside forces. 

Repeat as little as possible of what the articles say, but do include a citation with a page number for each one of your four references to the articles. Example: (Youmans & York, 2012, p. 323). Do not repeat a lot from the articles. I want you to refer to them, not copy them. We all know what the articles said, because we all read them.

Do not repeat the article’s details about what a group did — instead, tell how any group could use social media  to try to achieve a particular goal. Think of a goal that various kinds of groups might have in their efforts to change society. It doesn’t matter whether they use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or a site in the future that doesn’t even exist yet. How can they use the web or a mobile app to achieve a particular goal? Is it the best way to achieve that goal, or are there limits?

Come up with four different goals these kinds of groups might want to pursue. Match two goals to the Youmans article and two other goals to the Valenzuela article. Let the articles help you think about the kinds of challenges an activist group or protest movement faces as they try to get things done.

Next: What can go wrong with that effort? Who can block it, and how? What would the reason for blocking it be?

Finally: Can the activist group or protest movement take countermeasures to get around the block? Or not? Are there other ways to reach the same goal?

When I read your blog post, I should have NO DOUBT that you have carefully read both articles completely. NOTE: You don’t need to slog through the details of the quantitative analysis in Valenzuela et al. I usually skim over those myself.

The blog post can be very simple if your thinking is clear. If the writing in your blog post is convoluted or obscure, that might mean you didn’t really read the articles very thoughtfully.

DEADLINE: Your deadline for posting is Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 9 a.m. 

SLUG: The TITLE of your blog post about these articles must begin with the words “Protests and activism.” You can add more words after those if you want to.

If you need any clarification about this assignment, please make a comment on this post. I will answer it here.

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2 thoughts on “Blog post 2: Protests and activism

  1. Yi Liu 09/04/2016 / 2:41 pm

    Hi Professor Mindy,
    Do we need to attack two links in this week’s blog?

  2. Mindy McAdams 09/04/2016 / 2:49 pm

    No, Yi. This week you do not need any external resources or links.

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