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The Tyranny of Protocols: Tensions between Values and Affordances in an Anonymous Chat Room
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Cultural Matters)
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Modern social movements have been characterized as what Manuel Castells calls networked social movements. These movements are mobile, horizontal, opposed to top-down hierarchy, anti-corruption, and intentionally opposed to participating in ‘normal’ politics. He argues that the focus among these groups on communicative autonomy and horizontal organization are wins for movements opposed to corruption and elitism in a post-democratic society .In this paper, I focus on one type of networked social movement in the form of the hacktivist collective Anonymous. Investigating the use of sanctions and moderation in chat rooms, I arrive at the conclusion that the protocols which define thei rcommunicative space also contradict their values. I suggest, echoing Freeman (1970), that the lack of formal organization and the maintenance of a hierarchy within the Anonymous chat rooms leads to the existence of small groups who become a de facto leadership.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
Anonymous, digitally enabled social movements, affordances, values, online protest, organization, hacktivism, network society
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-333891OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-333891DiVA: diva2:1158214
Conference
Cultural Sociology Symposium - November 19-20, 2015 - Uppsala, Sweden
Available from: 2017-11-18 Created: 2017-11-18 Last updated: 2017-11-23Bibliographically approved

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Creswell, Philip K.

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