WIT Press

The Self-organization Of Cyberprotest


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WIT Press


C. Fuchs


The specific task of this paper is to describe cyberprotest as a self-organizing system. Cyberprotest is a global structural coupling and mutual production of self-organization processes of the Internet and self-organization processes of the protest system of society. In cyberprotest the self-organization of the Internet system and the self-organization of the protest system produce each other mutually in a self-organization process, hence cyberprotest is a self-organization of self-organization processes, a form of second-order self-organization Keywords: cyberprotest, self-organization, complexity, online activism, social movements. 1 Introduction Cyberspace is a global technologically mediated space of cognition, communication, and co-operation, a sphere of production, reproduction, and circulation of human knowledge. It is inherently networked, decentralized, and dynamic. Besides being a big marketplace, it is also a medium of political interaction. This paper attempts to describe the phenomenon of cyberprotest at a theoretical level. Cyberprotest is an emerging field of social movement research that reflects the role of alternative online media, online protests, and online protest communication in society [cf. 1, 3, 19, 31, 32, 33, 39, 40, 42, 46, 48]. The existing approaches are mainly descriptive and empirical, what is missing is a broader theoretical perspective that embeds the phenomenon of cyberprotest into social theory and provides theoretical concepts that can guide research. This paper tries to make a contribution to the establishment of theoretical foundations of cyberprotest by considering the latter within the perspective of selforganization theory. The notion of self-organization seems to be particularly promising because it relies on concepts such as networking, interaction,


cyberprotest, self-organization, complexity, online activism, social movements.