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The #ZUCKUP Dilemma

The battle for the soul of global activism.

Today, without warning and without comment, Facebook deleted the pages of fifty predominantly left and student-run organizations in the United Kingdom. Having forged an uneasy relationship with Facebook, activists, culture jammers and revolutionaries around the world now face a tremendous dilemma.

On the one hand, it is true that Facebook's social networking platform has served revolutionary organizers well in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere. The speed by which a call to protest can snowball into bodies on the streets intent on toppling a regime is awe inspiring and for the foreseeable future, Facebook will continue to play an important role in organizing protests and insurrections. And yet, Facebook is, in its essence, a capitalist business venture whose raison d'être is the commercialization of human relations. It is terrifying, and ultimately self-defeating that a commercially driven enterprise has insinuated itself into the soul of global activism.

On a deeper level, however, beyond all self-recriminations and angry tweets against Facebook's latest #zuckup the question remains: How will we, culture jammers, escape this dilemma? What are activists and revolutionaries to do in a world where a for-profit company has a near monopoly on social networking? Would thousands of us committing Facebook suicide wake Zuckerberg up? Could we jam Facebook into submission? Or must we develop our own non-commercial platform better suited to insurrection? What is the solution to this dilemma? How do we break the Gordian knot?

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88 comments on the article “The #ZUCKUP Dilemma”

Displaying 1 - 10 of 88

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anothr

The idea of alternative network might bring the new paradigm in the society. Although how to make people leave Facebook? There must be a clear motivation to change the social service. And the majority is too attached and got used to using FB. This case actually representing the whole way of what is going going on in the world: people are not willing to step into the new territory as the new territory usually is mysterious. And we are afraid of unknown. That's the western paranoia — to see things perfect as they are right now and seeing new ways of living as dangerous and threatening. Stupid, old style way of not having guts to realize that we are all one and that money are created only to enslave humanity...Stupid not to see how life obviously may be much simpler with a bit of thinking and sense of compassion.

anothr

The idea of alternative network might bring the new paradigm in the society. Although how to make people leave Facebook? There must be a clear motivation to change the social service. And the majority is too attached and got used to using FB. This case actually representing the whole way of what is going going on in the world: people are not willing to step into the new territory as the new territory usually is mysterious. And we are afraid of unknown. That's the western paranoia — to see things perfect as they are right now and seeing new ways of living as dangerous and threatening. Stupid, old style way of not having guts to realize that we are all one and that money are created only to enslave humanity...Stupid not to see how life obviously may be much simpler with a bit of thinking and sense of compassion.

Anony

Using riseup's alternative to facebook could provide a start, at least in terms of platforms for organizing. So far as getting the 'masses' to change networks, projects like Diaspora could potentially succeed.

Anony

Using riseup's alternative to facebook could provide a start, at least in terms of platforms for organizing. So far as getting the 'masses' to change networks, projects like Diaspora could potentially succeed.

Anonymouse

What dilemna? Facebook was not in fact instrumental in aiding the recent activity in Egypt or Tunisia. There was even a widespread effort to encourage people to NOT use social networks to communicate about their activity. During the previous groundswell of activity in Egypt facebook groups were used as a means of indentifying and targeting activists. The same has happened in Iran and other places and now the same is happening and most likely ALREADY HAS been happening in the UK/US/ETC...

STOP USING FACEBOOK TO ORGANISE

STOP RELYING ON THEIR TOOLS

IT'S A CRITICAL WEAKNESS

Anonymouse

What dilemna? Facebook was not in fact instrumental in aiding the recent activity in Egypt or Tunisia. There was even a widespread effort to encourage people to NOT use social networks to communicate about their activity. During the previous groundswell of activity in Egypt facebook groups were used as a means of indentifying and targeting activists. The same has happened in Iran and other places and now the same is happening and most likely ALREADY HAS been happening in the UK/US/ETC...

STOP USING FACEBOOK TO ORGANISE

STOP RELYING ON THEIR TOOLS

IT'S A CRITICAL WEAKNESS

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