Adbusters

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 51 - 60 of 88

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Anonymous

Agreed!

Capitalism is falsely presented as part of humanities natrual evolutionary path. Newspapers, for example, dedicate entire sections to finance and business, without analysis of the economic system behind it all. When the price of oil shoots up and down chaotically, journalists blame demand in China, rather than capitalism itself. Thus, it is now difficult for many to imagine a world without capitalism.

Similarly, facebook is currently presented as "the future of activism." Rarely is a media report of the current uprisings free from the tag "facebook revolution." The contribution of people taking to the streets is pushed aside for our saviour, Mr Zuckerberg.

Activism with a built in one way window to the CIA. Fuck.

Has anyone talked about this?-http://freenetproject.org/

Anonymous

Agreed!

Capitalism is falsely presented as part of humanities natrual evolutionary path. Newspapers, for example, dedicate entire sections to finance and business, without analysis of the economic system behind it all. When the price of oil shoots up and down chaotically, journalists blame demand in China, rather than capitalism itself. Thus, it is now difficult for many to imagine a world without capitalism.

Similarly, facebook is currently presented as "the future of activism." Rarely is a media report of the current uprisings free from the tag "facebook revolution." The contribution of people taking to the streets is pushed aside for our saviour, Mr Zuckerberg.

Activism with a built in one way window to the CIA. Fuck.

Has anyone talked about this?-http://freenetproject.org/

Use_Less

Maybe, just for this article, you should move the facebook icon to last on the list in your "support and share" section. I realized you addressed the conundrum in your article, but the irony hurt a bit when it slapped me in the face.

Use_Less

Maybe, just for this article, you should move the facebook icon to last on the list in your "support and share" section. I realized you addressed the conundrum in your article, but the irony hurt a bit when it slapped me in the face.

StopTheInsanity

"...it is true that Facebook's social networking platform has served revolutionary organizers well in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere..."

---

Julian Assange has debunked this factoid:

"Yes [Twitter and Facebook] did play a part, although not nearly as large a part as al-Jazeera. But the guide produced by Egyptian revolutionaries … says on the first page, 'Do not use Facebook and Twitter', and says on the last page, 'Do not use Facebook and Twitter'.

"There is a reason for that. There was actually a Facebook revolt in Cairo three or four years ago. It was very small … after it, Facebook was used to round-up all the principal participants. They were then beaten, interrogated and incarcerated."
- Julian Assange tells students that the web is the greatest spying machine ever

which speaks to the woefully-absurd and -counterproductive idea that the internet is somehow magically "revolutionary" by default:

"[T]hat is another example of failing to take a systemic viewpoint. People may edit their copy, communicate with their friends, connect with other like-minded people, and so on. But the computer doesn't change the fact that great centralized institutions — corporations, trade bureaucracies, militaries, governments and so on — are able to use those same computers with far greater connections and with far greater real power. So the Internet will not stop a forest from being cut down or global money speculation from affecting the fates of whole societies. These technologies have to be viewed in all their dimensions.

"If computers enable you to do your work a little better, I don't argue with that. But it's an illusion for us to believe that our use of the computer will somehow change the centralized system of power. For those who would like to see equitable and sustainable systems develop, the use of the computer amounts to a net loss, not a net gain."
- Megatechnology: An Interview with Jerry Mander

StopTheInsanity

"...it is true that Facebook's social networking platform has served revolutionary organizers well in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere..."

---

Julian Assange has debunked this factoid:

"Yes [Twitter and Facebook] did play a part, although not nearly as large a part as al-Jazeera. But the guide produced by Egyptian revolutionaries … says on the first page, 'Do not use Facebook and Twitter', and says on the last page, 'Do not use Facebook and Twitter'.

"There is a reason for that. There was actually a Facebook revolt in Cairo three or four years ago. It was very small … after it, Facebook was used to round-up all the principal participants. They were then beaten, interrogated and incarcerated."
- Julian Assange tells students that the web is the greatest spying machine ever

which speaks to the woefully-absurd and -counterproductive idea that the internet is somehow magically "revolutionary" by default:

"[T]hat is another example of failing to take a systemic viewpoint. People may edit their copy, communicate with their friends, connect with other like-minded people, and so on. But the computer doesn't change the fact that great centralized institutions — corporations, trade bureaucracies, militaries, governments and so on — are able to use those same computers with far greater connections and with far greater real power. So the Internet will not stop a forest from being cut down or global money speculation from affecting the fates of whole societies. These technologies have to be viewed in all their dimensions.

"If computers enable you to do your work a little better, I don't argue with that. But it's an illusion for us to believe that our use of the computer will somehow change the centralized system of power. For those who would like to see equitable and sustainable systems develop, the use of the computer amounts to a net loss, not a net gain."
- Megatechnology: An Interview with Jerry Mander

Dks

Its a private company so...

they can do whatever they want in their arena because… its their arena …

Now if they are going certain ways to silent the opposition outside their arena then yes they are illegally oppressing free speech… But overall its on the individual who decides to enter their arena that must comply with the arena rules…

I Hope that analogy helps illustrate my point..

Dks

Its a private company so...

they can do whatever they want in their arena because… its their arena …

Now if they are going certain ways to silent the opposition outside their arena then yes they are illegally oppressing free speech… But overall its on the individual who decides to enter their arena that must comply with the arena rules…

I Hope that analogy helps illustrate my point..

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