What should we make of the culture of the protest movements of the 21st century? From the Arab Spring to the 'indignados' protests in Spain and the Occupy movement, Paolo Gerbaudo examines the relationship between the rise of social media and the emergence of new forms of protest.
Gerbaudo argues that activists' use of Twitter and Facebook does not fit with the image of a 'cyberspace' detached from physical reality. Instead, social media is used as part of a project of re-appropriation of public space, which involves the assembling of different groups around 'occupied' places such as Cairo's Tahrir Square or New York's Zuccotti Park.
An exciting and invigorating journey through the new politics of dissent, Tweets and the Streets points both to the creative possibilities and to the risks of political evanescence which new media brings to the contemporary protest experience.
Paolo Gerbaudo is a political sociologist and the Director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King's College, London. He is the author of Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism (Pluto, 2012), The Mask and the Flag: Populism, Citizenism and Global Protest, (Hurst, 2017) and The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy (Pluto, 2018).
Acknowledgements Introduction 1. 'Friendly' reunions: Social media and the choreography of assembly 2. 'We are not guys of comment and like': The revolutionary coalescence of shabab-al-Facebook 3. We are not on Facebook, we are on the streets! The harvesting of indignation 4. The hash-tag which did (not) start a revolution: The laborious adding up to the 99% 5. Follow me, but don't ask me to lead you! Liquid organising and choreographic leadership Notes Index