Strategic Sovereigns

The main component behind hacktivisim seems to be all about space and location. It is a practice created mostly in part by convergence culture and the collective contributions of others. Though a topic or focus for activism can be found without a space it would be global and loosely knit. It needs a space in which to become focused cultivated and organized.

 

Take for example wikileaks, although, its own space and cause, it holds no sufficient space for discussion and the spread of its message. This is where Lindgreen makes a legitimate argument that this is where twitter comes into play. The platform allows the convergence of opinions to be brought together into a conversation by hash tagging. She asserts that, “In other words, the #WikiLeaks hash tag can certainly be perceived as a site of resist­ance of mobilization, in spite of its seemingly open, fluid and anarchistic modality” (1015). Without this space perhaps the movement and popularity behind wikileaks would not have gained the sufficient momentum to get off the ground. This is because in the same paper it is noted that, “In order to organize and mobilize, one needs to speak a common language, agree on the definition of the situation and formulate a shared vision. Even though it is global and loosely-knit, the linguistic space of Twitter discourse is a space where such processes of meaning-production and organization take place” (1015).

 

This convergence or aggregation as it is put is what moves the effort from an idea into a movement. It is this sub political culture that is starting to become more and more popular and gain more and more attention due to media and technology providing platforms for the expansive conversations occurring worldwide that know connect distinct individuals like never before. It brings together People that could perhaps be as influential and distant as Gandhi and Malcolm X now rather easily simply by adding a hash tag and entering the conversation.

 

This is what is driving the fear behind organizations opposed to p2p sharing that is currently turning itself into a norm at the expense of production and distribution companies.  Anderson makes a good point in his paper, “The Pirate Bay as a Strategic Sovereign”, in realizing that this fear is concurrent with the fear that many cyber activists feel as well, “many file-sharers, cyber activists and net libertarians seem to believe that they are being actively persecuted by a ooming, nefarious media industry which forces any alternative formation to become hard-lined and creative in inventing new ways to keep sharing”, it is acknowledged that the assertion is misguided, yet what is important is stated after, “What is adopted, he argues is increasingly a strategy of collaboration rather than an outright prohibition of these consumer led movements” (71). His collaboration in the cyber world is extremely potent and when organized productively has not yet met its boundaries. This is perhaps due to the multiple dimensions of hacktivism as opposed to regular on the ground activism that is not as open to the numerous different opportunities for cause.

 

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