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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”

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Anonymous

Before facebook, people had personal websites, which were on their own or their ISP's server. I think we should go back to something like this. We need a new system which contains many of the benefits of social networking but which is distributed peer-to-peer and open source.

Anonymous

Before facebook, people had personal websites, which were on their own or their ISP's server. I think we should go back to something like this. We need a new system which contains many of the benefits of social networking but which is distributed peer-to-peer and open source.

Anonymous

Agreed that alternatives to Facebook and commercial sites are the better option for the sake of independence. Once they object to the message it's time to make the switch and try to establish critical mass elsewhere. The time is now.

Anonymous

Agreed that alternatives to Facebook and commercial sites are the better option for the sake of independence. Once they object to the message it's time to make the switch and try to establish critical mass elsewhere. The time is now.

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