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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Distorsiones tecnopolíticas: represión y resistencia algorítmica del activismo ciudadano en la era del big data

Emiliano Treré

Based on a critical analysis of various social and political phenomena of contemporary Mexico, this article demonstrates that diverse political parties and governments have successfully used new forms of algorithmic repression to manufacture consent, sabotage dissent, threaten and monitor activists and obtain citizens’ personal data.

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2016

Several strands of literature on social engagement, digital media and big data conceive digital platforms as a shortcut to government accountability and citizen empowerment. According to these visions, social media and the new possibilities offered by the analysis of big data represent the solution to the issues of contemporary democracies. Based on a critical analysis of various social and political phenomena of contemporary Mexico, this article demonstrates that diverse political parties and governments have successfully used new forms of algorithmic repression to manufacture consent, sabotage dissent, threaten and monitor activists and obtain citizens’ personal data. This paper argues that these new strategies clearly show the limitations of digital platforms —and of social media in particular— for democratic participation, as activists have to fight against refined techniques of control and oppression that efficiently adopt and manipulate new communi-cation technologies. In the conclusions, the article discusses broader considerations about the limits and the benefits of the new forms of algorithmic resistance in the current technopolitical scenario, proposing a technoambivalent approach to digital technologies.

E. Treré, 2016, "Distorsiones tecnopolíticas: represión y resistencia algorítmica del activismo ciudadano en la era del big data", Trípodos, 39, Facultad de Comunicación y Relaciones Internacionales Blanquerna. Universidad Ramón Llull, Spain, p. 35-51

http://www.tripodos.com/index.php/Facultat_Comunicacio_Blanquerna/article/view/379

News

22/07/2019

Protest for a future: international report on #FridaysForFuture and the climate strike

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Composition, mobilization and motives of the participants in Fridays For Future climate protests on 15 March 2019, in 13 European cities. A multi-country collaboration report, with contributions from COSMOS researchers Lorenzo Zamponi, Donatella della Porta, Martín Portos, Niccolò Bertuzzi and Daniela Chironi.

21/06/2019

Call for papers: "The Nation and the Radical Left - Practices and Discourses of National Identity in Left-Wing Politics"

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The call for papers is now open for a conference on national identities and left-wing politics.

18/06/2019

Call for papers: “Class without consciousness” – The Politics of Fragmented Class Identities

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The call for papers is now open for a two-day conference on class and identities at the Scuola Normale Superiore on 14-15 November 2019

Publications

Journal Article - 2019

Ballots and barricades enhanced: far‐right ‘movement parties’ and movement‐electoral interactions

Andrea Pirro
This contribution enhances our understanding of the contemporary far right by focusing on the neglected links between movements and elections within the broader context of contention.

Journal Article - 2019

From the Rainy Place to the Burnt Palace: How Social Movements Form their Political Strategies. The Case of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba

Leonidas Oikonomakis
Exploring the case of the cocaleros of the Chapare, this article argues that more emphasis should be placed on mechanisms that are internal to the movements, such as: (a) the resonance of other political experiences at home and abroad, (b) internal struggles for ideological hegemony, and (c) the political formation of their grassroots.