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Social media and the organization of collective action: using Twitter to explore the ecology of two climate change protests
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2011 (English)In: The Communication review, ISSN 1071-4421, E-ISSN 1547-7487, Vol. 14, no 3, 197-215 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Twitter Revolutions of 2009 reinvigorated the question of whether new social media have any real effect on contentious politics. In this article, the authors argue that evaluating the relation between transforming communication technologies and collective action demands recognizing how such technologies infuse specific protest ecologies. This includes looking beyond informational functions to the role of social media as organizing mechanisms and recognizing that traces of these media may reflect larger organizational schemes. Three points become salient in the case of Twitter against this background: (a) Twitter streams represent crosscutting networking mechanisms in a protest ecology, (b) they embed and are embedded in various kinds of gatekeeping processes, and (c) they reflect changing dynamics in the ecology over time. The authors illustrate their argument with reference to two hashtags used in the protests around the 2009 United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 14, no 3, 197-215 p.
National Category
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-70936DOI: 10.1080/10714421.2011.597250OAI: diva2:483136
Available from: 2012-01-24 Created: 2012-01-24 Last updated: 2015-08-19Bibliographically approved

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