What do you know about the Occupy Movement? And how do you know what you do? You might have watched the news or read stories online. But I’m guessing many actively and inactively followed your friends and families reactions on twitter, facebook, or  to setting up base camp on September 17th. You may have “liked” or commented on shocking, satirical, powerful, and influential pictures from all over the world, reposted hundreds of thousands of times. Think about what your mother knows about Occupy. She may say what my mother might say. “Its a dangerous world out there…”. I have to stop to think how I know the things I do and how she might gather the same information, from different sources.

The beauty of the internet is that its a dialectical conversation where consumers are also producers! This citizen-journalism has documented the Occupy Movement in a way that convential media could never do. News and print sources are ONE WAY STREETS, like Wall Street. Information traffic is delivered but readers and listeners cannot reciprocate! New media such as Facebook has ironically become a third-party re-distributer of any and all information shared by users.

Facebook has been found to be the MOST influential website used by Occupy protesters to support their cause. More than 400 Occupy sites have been objectively identified, 42 of them had over 1,000 followers by October 22nd and the largest had 9,000. The same same study (Gaby and Caren 2011) concluded more than 170,00 users in total supported Occupy Movements online. While it seems like every other post I run across is related to the Occupy Movement, association with Occupy online is only a small number of protesters that use Facebook let a lone post or “like” a local, national, or international Occupy page. However, the next most popular page was Occupytogether.org, intended to unite all Occupy Movements, with only 13,000 followers well after the initial encampment in NYC and corresponding participation online via Facebook. The Occupy Wall Street Facebook group had over 10,000 followers alone.

One of the more interesting things I watched (a documentary) was about how media patterns are shifting due to the instantaneous access people have to anything that happens. Diverse opinions are allowed to be voiced and so the story, or how we understand what the occupy movement is, changes. Its not hard to track what people think and say about Occupy and it is interesting to read about what people believe the movement is about. I guess its about social perspective, different opinions about the same things provide parallel realities that express many the ideologies people might have.

While conventional medias portray appetizing stories, Facebook allows a more objective presentation through various and diverse sources, however credible those sources may be. In the end, I feel this objective display is an unconscious recording of social dynamics in itself, heavily coded behind the structures of websites, blogs, and discussion boards. Because of the numerous data that might flood a topic, certain objective truths might be deduced. BUT this also poses a huge problem in interpretation. Because so many opinions emerge, its problematic to consider all perspectives.

I find it quite ironic yet fitting that a movement against corporation, against unsustainable growth, and against the “1%” would utilize a mega-corporation such as Facebook. Don’t you?

So, what else do you know about Occupy? “Like” my post or leave a comment.

Original Link: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1943168

Other interesting reads: http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=722

 12 December 2011  Posted by nbatara media , , , ,  Add comments