On Digital Witnesses and Online Activism
Panel Discussion with Ksenia Yurkova, Gayatri Parameswaran, and others
Mechanization and digitalization are also changing our understanding of the public sphere. Political disputes are no longer only present in newspapers or on the street, but they take place online and in real time. Protests are organized via Facebook and a viral video can trigger a revolution, as with the Arab Spring. Global movements like Fridays for Future, political leaks or #metoo would not be possible without digitalization and constantly having information in the form of text, images and videos at our disposal. In this way, digitalization turns us all into digital witnesses, who can see and react to everything. But does that really make us more politically active?
Or is constantly having information at our disposal and being faced with global events making us indifferent, forcing us to put things into perspective? Is hitting the Like button or participating online the same as going to a protest? Are we taking political action by participating in a discussion on Twitter or does it only stall the crucial moment at which it is necessary to act?
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