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Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change?

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the we-come-a-long-way-since-"sign-my-petition" dept.

The Internet 76

Lucas123 writes: "Several high profile protests have circulated across the Web in the past few weeks, garnering social and news media attention — and even forcing the resignation of one high-level executive. There are two components driving the trend in Internet protests: They tend to be effective against Web services, and online networks allow people to mobilize quickly. According to a study released last month by Georgetown University's Center for Social Impact Communication, active Web useres are likely to do far more for a cause than simply 'like' it on a website. And, because a few clicks can cancel a service, their actions carry weight. But there may be a coming backlash as people can grow tired of online activism; and corporations may also take a more proactive stance in response to them."

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76 comments

One word (1)

ichthus (72442) | about 3 months ago | (#46734925)

SOPA

Re:One word (3, Informative)

davester666 (731373) | about 3 months ago | (#46735615)

it was only a force for delay, not change. There is an approximately 100% likelihood that SOPA, in virtually it's entirety, will be enacted in NA and the EU, probably via trade deal. Likely, it will be sold to both sides as "the other side demanded it".

Re:One word (4, Insightful)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 3 months ago | (#46735973)

Dude, a delay IS change. Not the change you may have wanted but change nonetheless.
And just because your political system has been so derailed by corporate interests it did not work long term does NOT mean that the process could not have been 100% successful in a more sensible ecosystem also - please try to remember that not every country is as corporate captured as yours.

And what this shows more than anything is that they can raise awareness of the livestock to the point where politicians start to give a fuck what they think again. Considering how infrequently this occurs this IS important.

could outbreaks of truth disarm unprecedented evil (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46734939)

we'll see. the moms of the nile conference should be streamed?

Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46734941)

Fuck Beta.

Re:Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46736989)

It's a little late for that lol.

Re:Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46737385)

It's a web based protest.

I don't think so... (0)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 3 months ago | (#46734981)

Yeah, that Mozilla guy stepped down, but there aren't a lot of real consequences to that (save for him being out an easy paycheck ).

Take a look at Occupy Wall Street. That was a real movement with real impact. It was also systematically (and very effectively) shut down before it accomplished anything :(.

Re:I don't think so... (2, Informative)

pjt33 (739471) | about 3 months ago | (#46735187)

movement with real impact ... shut down before it accomplished anything

I think I spy an oxymoron.

Re:I don't think so... (3, Funny)

cold fjord (826450) | about 3 months ago | (#46735377)

Activists harness oxymorons for plowing the fields before planting the seeds of our discontent.

Re:I don't think so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735247)

..... It was also systematically (and very effectively) shut down before it accomplished anything :(.

You used the wrong smiley. It should be :)

Re:I don't think so... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735261)

One of the direct effects of Occupy Wall-street is the widespread realization that government just does not care about the average Joe, and is willing to shut down a protest movement at gunpoint.

This has had some interesting effects:
A: Firearms and Ammunition Shortages caused by stockpiling by the public and Federal Government.
B: Nobody trusts the Federal government; the federal government cannot communicate a message because any message they communicate is perceived as a lie.
C: Everyone believes firmly the Federal government and most local governments are headed for a fiscal cliff and will take the majority of the country over the cliff with it.
D: That "Mainstream Media" is tainted infotainment and completely unreliable.
E: That the government can and will interfere with your business and life directly to enrich corrupt individuals, irregardless of your place in the world.
F: Government employee's have been demoralized by bonuses, pensions and pay being cut or staff being cut to the point certain functions of government fail to operate.

Think about the effect of a widespread Armed protest movement; abduction of general managers of financial institutions either for impromtu court rooms or a request to the local government to put the bastard on trial or else; Mcdonalds workers doing an armed Sit-down strike; and so-on.

Either large monopolies will be ripped apart, or governments will start a civil war resulting in suspension of 911 service and ultimately businesses will suspend tax payments to fund local security companies. That in effect will fuel demand for an actually robust media which will produce a rebirth of real Americanism.

Re:I don't think so... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 3 months ago | (#46735833)

think about the effect of a widespread Armed protest movement;

We almost got to find out. [reuters.com] Well, not exactly in the sense you were thinking. I know of about 200 people who went to this guy's ranch just to target practice over the few weeks. Well, I don't know all of them, I know people who know them and they told me about them.

Re:I don't think so... (3, Interesting)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 3 months ago | (#46735453)

Yeah, that Mozilla guy stepped down, but there aren't a lot of real consequences to that (save for him being out an easy paycheck ).

Take a look at Occupy Wall Street. That was a real movement with real impact. It was also systematically (and very effectively) shut down before it accomplished anything :(.

Occupy Wall Street was a protest by a bunch of unorganized 18 to 20 somethings with no leader, agenda, or coherent message. It had no impact whatsoever, other than on the local police overtime budget. Nothing real came out of it simply because there was no real foundation to build on.

If you want to talk about a movement that was systematically destroyed, take a look at the Tea Party. It was originally started by a coalition of conservatives and democrats for the express purposes of promoting of fiscal responsibility within government. It was systematically taken over by the conservative far right and bears no resemblance to what it originally stood for.

Re:I don't think so... (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#46737051)

Occupy Wall Street was a George Soros funded dirty trick to besmirch Mitt Romney. As soon as the election was over Soros stopped funding OWS and it went away. One could argue that it had the planned impact though - generating ill feelings toward a certain successful investor.

Re:I don't think so... (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 3 months ago | (#46738227)

Occupy wall street left a lasting image of two things resistance and oppression. A reminder that we can resist and solid evidence that public expression of political dissent is being emphatically and violently being suppressed. Evil in the current US Federal administration as well as in State administrations was exposed for what it is, Uncle Tom Obama the choom gang coward could no longer hide behind the propaganda charade of the Fox not-News Empire and was exposed for who he really was, a corporate puppet that appointed the worst of the worst of corporate stooges to run corporate administration.

Consider Assange, Manning and Snowden as extensions of web based protest and you see the core of web based protest is the exposure of secrets and lies and the dissemination of that information to as wide a base as possible. The next step is to convert members of the public one by one, so that not matter how much money is spent on main stream marketing propaganda is has only minimal impact and no more idiot box victories.

So web based protests can win because they can and do strengthen democratic principles, they can and do support the truth and expose the lies and they do what protests (not riots) intend to do at there core, inform the wider public of a problem and it's cause.

When they fail due to autocratic suppression, they direct actions need to be taken to disrupt business as usual ie ignoring the will of the public, the majority, chiefly by the public, the majority refusing to support the minority by the elimination of the provision of services either directly or indirectly.

Re:I don't think so... (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46739619)

Take a look at Occupy Wall Street. That was a real movement with real impact. It was also systematically (and very effectively) shut down before it accomplished anything :(.

It moved the national conversation i.e. the president, congress... from budget cuts to inequality. Since then we've had a tax policy change which shifted income a bit, are talking about an increase i the minimum wage and didn't get nearly the level of food stamp cuts the Republicans were aiming for. Yeah they accomplished quite a bit.

like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46734995)

+1

I dropped Dropbox (1, Troll)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 3 months ago | (#46735005)

I don't know about that. I dropped Godaddy years ago because of what they were doing. And now I have dropped Dropbox for hiring a potential war criminal. It might not be a Watts riot but I know at least 3 people who have dropped Dropbox; this might not seem like many but that is a good chunk of people who I know personally who use it. Plus I will never recommend it again, which was how most of these people discovered it.

Plus depending on your use of Dropbox there are far better services. If you are simply storing and sharing files with a select few then Google drive gives you 15 GB which is a huge amount of storage in comparison.

Plus with someone like Rice onboard, how long before Dropbox ends up in an incestuous relationship with the NSA? So if I were any company that hadn't already dumped all US data providers it is now time to look into things like opencloud anyway.

Re:I dropped Dropbox (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 3 months ago | (#46735031)

. If you are simply storing and sharing files with a select few then Google drive gives you 15 GB which is a huge amount of storage in comparison

Unfortunately, a big part of the objection to Rice is the fear of DB becoming even more hostile to the concept of user privacy. Extra space aside, google isn't a particularly viable alternative.

Hey bigmouth... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735175)

See you here http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org]

* Downmodding the last 2 times I posted this (via sockpuppet usage, that much is obvious, since there is NO WAY you merit a +4 on your bullshit here I tore up -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] )?

Both here http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] here too http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] for confronting you with it too?

Please (lmao):

Lame & WEAK, just like your b.s. I shot down WITH EASE in the link above... lol!

APK

P.S.=> There's LITTLE question I tore you apart in the 1st link above + my other post there vs. your "so-called 'points'" that you "amended" bogusly, changing your parameters/constraints there!

(Prepare to be utterly humiliated, publicly - there's NO way your b.s. there merits the +4 upward moderation it got (you must have used sockpuppets to do it, modding yourself up))

... apk

Re:Hey bigmouth... apk (1)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#46735907)

No, you were downmodded for being apk. I believe you brought it on yourself. No, I have no interest in debating or justifying my belief in this matter - and you'll note I'm not hiding behind the A/C mechanism.

Re:Hey bigmouth... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46736003)

Apk's correct. How did the geminidomino get a +4 being so wrong?

Re:Hey bigmouth... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46737821)

APK may be correct or he may not. The only thing we know is that he likes to rape children and needs to be locked up. I encourage everyone to report that sick fuck to the police and get him removed from society until he stops destroying innocent lives. His name is Alexander Peter Kowalski and he lives at 903 East Division St., Syracuse, NY 13208 (he was born 01/31/1965; his mother is Jan Kowalski, born 12/03/1933. I encourage everyone to call his neighbors and warn them that he may have raped and\or murdered their children and uses HOSTS files to evade police detection when he looks at child porn. If anyone lives in his area, I suggest printing out some fliers and stapling them around his neighborhood with a large "PAEDO WARNING!" on the top.

Poorly done, sir. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#46783699)

Your post is little more than a call for mob justice. I don't care what APK has done (or what you perceive he has done), your post encouraging vigilante justice is hateful. In my opinion, it is as heinous as the crimes of which you have accused APK.

Re:I dropped Dropbox (1)

cffrost (885375) | about 3 months ago | (#46735811)

[D]epending on your use of Dropbox there are far better services. If you are simply storing and sharing files with a select few then Google drive gives you 15 GB which is a huge amount of storage in comparison.

Plus with someone like Rice onboard, how long before Dropbox ends up in an incestuous relationship with the NSA?

You claim to be concerned about "incestuous relationship[s] with the NSA," yet you recommend another corporate partner in NSA's PRISM [wikipedia.org] spy-ring in favor of another. Why not find/try a tool or service that hasn't already been implicated in NSA-produced documents in serving as a front-end for one or more of their "collect it all" programs? In my view, that one of these corporate partners allows you to hand over more data to the NSA than a competitor isn't a compelling argument for its use — especially when that corporation makes their billions in part by scrutinizing and monetizing anything you give them in the first place.

15GB may be "huge" in comparison to another service willing to oh-so-charitably take ownership of your data for you, but 15GB represents a mere ~1% of a typical modern HDD, or about a seventh of what I upload daily via BitTorrent. Add in end-to-end encryption and a good-availability residential Internet connection, and you can share data without utilizing surveillance-state honeypots. For tools and services that allow you to do this, the website PRISM Break [prism-break.org] is a great place to start looking for a solution that has had at least some effort put forth in protecting users' privacy.

Re:I dropped Dropbox (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 3 months ago | (#46737039)

What non-US dropbox providers would you suggest? I am looking at opencloud and setting it up on my own server. But opencloud is seemingly a little not quite ready for primetime.

Ideally my data is stored encrypted on the server with password access limiting access to the data itself. But only decrypted on the client side. Also ideally it would have multiple user file sharing with all that implies.

But my dream feature is that you can access the data online (still client decrypted) through interfaces at least as capable as google docs(not terribly capable but good enough in a pinch).

To me having the data on the server encypted/decrypted on the client is the ultimate in two-factor security.

Other features such as versioning would be nice to haves.

The reason that I suggest Google instead of Dropbox is that I would like to see Dropbox punished for hiring that woman. All US data companies are basically now to be considered guilty until they are proven out of business.

Re:I dropped Dropbox (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 months ago | (#46737665)

Plus with someone like Rice onboard, how long before Dropbox ends up in an incestuous relationship with the NSA?

Now how would that happen when the NSA is currently in bed with the Democrats...

Rice is just an expert on how they operate, not in cooperation. All she ever said was acceptable was monitoring people with known terrorist contacts. The other stuff ALL came along under the watch of many Democrats.

One word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735037)

NO.

But can peoples' personal willingness to get their fat asses outside and march?

YES.

Re:One word... (3, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 3 months ago | (#46735151)

Well, here's the tl;dr of TFA: Social media is the starting point. Hence the Arab Spring—you use Facebook or Twitter or whatever to spread your message and/or propaganda, and then accrue those with personal willingness to march and coordinate action through the net. Five dictators have been overthrown in the Middle East since December 2010 (as well as uprisings and protests in more than a dozen other countries) following social media germination, so clearly it's viable for that. Unfortunately this means it's also a single point of failure, as shown in Egypt when they depeered from the rest of the network in early 2011, easy to infiltrate and possible to manipulate.

No (1)

koan (80826) | about 3 months ago | (#46735081)

They can be ignored as can email campaigns, the things we should be focused ob is term limits recalling "citizens united" and getting rid of lobbyist.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735225)

In Canada, OpenMedia has been very successful in changing government policy w.r.t. net neutrality, on-line privacy, wireless carrier charges, and various other initiatives. Their primary means of protest have been well-written click-and-send form letters and electronic petitions. Maybe things work differently in the United States of America (or is that Amerika?).

Re:No (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#46735287)

Amerika is full of Amerikans. Amerikans live north of Mexicans and south of Canadians, eh?

Re:No (1)

westlake (615356) | about 3 months ago | (#46735329)

They can be ignored as can email campaigns, the things we should be focused ob is term limits recalling "citizens united" and getting rid of lobbyist.

Term limits increase a lobbyist's power.

He will have have experience, staff, and resources and long-term connections to the folks back home. The lobbyist from the central states will know grain and cattle. The lobbyist from Texas. oil and natural gas.

Re:No (1)

koan (80826) | about 3 months ago | (#46735641)

getting rid of lobbyist

Re:No (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 3 months ago | (#46736669)

You cannot recall citizens united. What you have to do is amend the constitution to exclude the free speech you do not agree with and allow the government to regulate it. It is the entire reason why the amendment process was put into the constitution- so you didn't have to go around violating it and people's rights when you all the sudden think someone is outdated.

The same thing can be said about lobbyist and term limits. The constitution doesn't allow the government to put limits outside what is already spelled out in it on those who serve in the government. This is done for good reason too. Lobbyist are in the same lines of speech as citizens united.

Political protests in general don't work any more (2)

Animats (122034) | about 3 months ago | (#46735103)

Look at how Occupy Wall Street fizzled out.

Re:Political protests in general don't work any mo (3, Interesting)

swb (14022) | about 3 months ago | (#46735227)

That's what they're saying in Tunisia, Egypt and Ukraine now.

politics is deception & doom for unchosens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735251)

social skills is what we lack? ability to discuss anything other than mainstream nazi media mogrel hypenosys from madison ave? we must like that?

Re:Political protests in general don't work any mo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735279)

Historically peaceful protests are rarely effective. It is correlated to situations that call for large scale protests. People protest against a greater power, and because it's peaceful the powers don't really need to give a shit. However, the force behind protests - the idea that the people deserve better - is more worrying to those that are protested against; they know the next step could hurt them badly, so they try many things to undermine the protesters' efforts. Those who don't think they're strong enough would give in, and those who do will try to hold their ground fiercely. It's the nature of political struggle. There need to be protests though, because it's a most socially acceptable starting point.

Martin Luther King would like a word with you. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#46735913)

That is all.

Re:Martin Luther King would like a word with you. (1)

Gort65 (1464371) | about 3 months ago | (#46736309)

But then if the authorities didn't listen to him and his kind, then they'd soon find that they'd have to listen to some other scarier people with growing support. Damage limitation, etc.

Re:Martin Luther King would like a word with you. (1)

russotto (537200) | about 3 months ago | (#46739711)

If instead of fucking around with putting MLK in jail for 30-60 days at a time, they've managed to get the laws changed so that organizing a sit-in was a felony, they could have kept him locked up, incommunicado or nearly so, for years and kept him on a tight leash (as a convicted felon) even if he got out.

The scarier people could either have gotten the message or been shot while resisting arrest.

We've got the necessary laws, 100 times over, by now. The protests that happen are ineffective because anything that threatens to become effective will be destroyed in no time.

Re:Political protests in general don't work any mo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735561)

Look at how Occupy Wall Street fizzled out.

Yet the Tea Party is still terrorizing the republican party. Could it be that just protesting is useless while actual action within a system does generate change - for good or bad? Something to think about considering the media attention leveled at both the Tea Party and Occupy.

Transforming, for the better (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 months ago | (#46736953)

Yet the Tea Party is still terrorizing the republican party.

Yes they are - because the Republicans are party the same group of corrupt bastards the Democrats are fielding.

The Tea Party is slowly converting the Republican party into a more libertarian group - eager to seize power and then leave you the hell alone. Alos eager to reduce spending from the absurd levels we have been seeing, and to dis-entangle government from mega-corperations who work hand in hand with politicians to stifle small business that might compete with them.

You better pray the Tea Party continues to succeed in its mission, so we have a real choice in politics again...

Re:Political protests in general don't work any mo (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | about 3 months ago | (#46748511)

Look at how Occupy Wall Street fizzled out.

I think that OWS fizzled out because, while the occupiers correctly identified that there is something wrong with the political/economic power structure in this country, they never were able to articulate what they felt was wrong, and neither did they have any solutions in mind. Take the Washington DC OWS, for instance. The encampment was right on K street, yet nobody there could articulate their objection to the corporate lobbying and influence purchasing that was happening, quite literally, in the building across the street from them.

I guess every generation needs to punch their social action card, but the civil rights era and the Vietnam War era are long-since over. We had a good run in the 80s with Apartheid, but after that came, what, the WTO/IMF/World Bank protests? Good luck having any intellectual discourse with any of those nuts. A friend of mine from college, an economist no less, was part of those protests, so I said to myself, "Finally I can get a coherent explanation for what the fuck these protesters want!" When I asked my friend what the protests were all about, she said: "Beats me! I just think protesting is fun!"

Indeed.

NO! (1)

Revek (133289) | about 3 months ago | (#46735105)

The majority of the people in power or with power don't care until mainstream media stops ignoring it.

The Revolution will not be Tweeted (4, Interesting)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | about 3 months ago | (#46735115)

Answer: No. At least not for anything of consequence. Just look at how many successful petitions came out of change.org.
Anyone that thinks a web based protest would be effective should read "The Revolution will not be Tweeted" by by Malcolm Gladwell, published in New Yorker magazine, to understand why.

http://www.newyorker.com/repor... [newyorker.com]

Re:The Revolution will not be Tweeted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735259)

Sounds like it depends entirely on the nature of the injustice.

Re:The Revolution will not be Tweeted (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 3 months ago | (#46735285)

In order for a protest movement to be effective it needs to convince people who make decisions that it is effective. It needn't actually be disruptive, just give the impression that it is. I think a carefully targeted online protest can be quite powerful as long as people believe it's powerful. That means appearances in the mainstream media, mentions at weekly meetings, that sort of thing. Petitions at the petition site are just viewed as a pressure valve by those in power.

Re:The Revolution will not be Tweeted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46739507)

Nobody should read anything by Malcolm Gladwell.

I don't know... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735123)

You all saw how far the "Beta Blockers" got with their "activism" and we still have to deal with it....

Re:I don't know... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735691)

Yeah, let's look at how unsuccessful that was! You haven't been to pipedot or soylent news lately, have you? Dumbass.

Re:I don't know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46736379)

Ad hominems and out of scope examples really helped greatly with making your point, judging by the score of your comment. /sarcasm

hard to feel uninvolved anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735179)

with so much greed fear ego based deception dampening our good spirits? http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=wake+up+occupy spiritual constipation is paralyzing us as well? see you there

Depends... (1)

ComputersKai (3499237) | about 3 months ago | (#46735229)

Despite Snowden's disclosure of the NSA classifieds, not much has been done.
However, with SOPA, many sites actually stopped their services in protest to the proposed bill, so users of those sites actually got the message upon visiting them.

Re:Depends... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 3 months ago | (#46735491)

That's the big difference. The big corporate sites who would have been negatively impacted by SOPA (Google, e.g.) carried those protests. The fact that blocking the law turned out better for actual people was really just a happy accident.

Explain your +4 post parent to these 2 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735801)

Since they shot your "so-called 'points'" to shit http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] & http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org]

APK

P.S.=> How many sockpuppets do you have - since there's NO WAY your post merited that after all of its technical blunders... apk

Problem is it's a one-way street (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46735277)

Only the liberal movements get any traction (there are rare exceptions) in the media which inevitably fans the flames to get the forrest fire going. Not very fair don't you think???

The Bundy ranch (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 3 months ago | (#46735569)

Well from what I am hearing about the results at the Bundy ranch ( which are admittedly very unclear ATM, I can only go on what the news tells me ). Yes it can.
Though I am sure the original poster is one of those who would not classify the Bundys as "more equal" then others.

No (1)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about 3 months ago | (#46735629)

A couple of years ago Facebook protests used to raise alarms in the political spheres.
Politicians now know that they won't make any difference. The masses are drowned by media.
Once in a while an unknown outsider tweet into parliament. But without political friends/comrades (ew!) it's often for a short visit.
Todays journalism is about how many articles you can copy paste in a day.
Pass along nothing to see here

Online protests work? Nope! Live one? Nope! (2)

Chas (5144) | about 3 months ago | (#46735727)

Basically they're only worth the effort it takes to ignore or dismantle.
In the case of online protests, they can be safely ignored.
In the case of physical protests, if there's no rioting, they're ignored.
If there's rioting, they're suppressed.

And not just in the US.

Look at the Kirchner kleptocracy in Argentina. They had tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people rioting in the street.
Kirchner's response? What riot? Ooh! Prada shoes! I'll nationalize something else, and squeeze a bit more money out of my citizens and I can buy all I want!

We're pretty much at the point where the government has stopped giving a fuck. They have more and bigger guns than we do, and that's the end of it.

The only way to effect real change nowadays is if lots and lots of people are willing to kill, bleed and die for their principles.

Unfortunately, things are too damn cushy for most people to want to go that far.

So, in the gilded cage we sit.

Re:Online protests work? Nope! Live one? Nope! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46736487)

>The only way to effect real change nowadays is if lots and lots of people are willing to kill, bleed and die for their principles.
And I'm sure as hell not willing to bleed and die for the sake of assholes comprising the current generation. I'll be sitting this revolution out thanks.

Re:Online protests work? Nope! Live one? Nope! (1)

xvan (2935999) | about 3 months ago | (#46736859)

In the particular case of Argentina, protests have done something...

2001 Riots took down the president.
Kosteki & Santillan deaths lead to early elections call.
125 Protest lead to the congress tie, the law wasn't passed.
Last year the (illegal) police strike and subsequent riot.

Similar events can be found through all latam

I believe that the main difference between US and latam is:

a) Latin Amerca has strong presidential systems. US has a strong party system.
So in Latin America presidents have more political capital to spend. In US the political capital isn't theirs but the party's.

b) From the outside, the US seems to have a really fucked up concept of free speech. Just the concept of "Free speech zones" is ludicrous to me. If there is no economical / social impact produced by the protest, no one is going to give a fuck about it.

c) Like anywhere else in the world, US media lies, but unlike anywhere else in the world, the US media AND the US government are both pro status quo, so the protest news are minimized or hidden.

d) The subsets of 'People that have the balls' and 'People that protest' don't seem to intersect frequently in the US.

Re:Online protests work? Nope! Live one? Nope! (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 3 months ago | (#46741529)

You don't need to bleed. You do need to stop paying your taxes. Everyone does. Then, change happens. Protest is just to raise awareness, then you have to actually DO SOMETHING. You have to boycott.

Protip: (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 3 months ago | (#46735849)

corporations may also take a more proactive stance in response to them

Putting Condi Rice in charge of privacy: not a "proactive stance."

Protests are a display of effort (3, Insightful)

tulcod (1056476) | about 3 months ago | (#46736033)

One thing that definitely plays a role in this discussion is that in big street protests, a lot of people have to come out of their house and basically waste their day for this one cause. This in itself shows how strongly they feel about certain issues.

This is much more difficult in the case of internet protests: we all know how little facebook likes mean.

If you want to make web-based protests work, you will somehow have to incorporate an element of effort, which - since the only tissue we have online is that of information - is going to have to have some intellectual ingredient. Indeed, the many discussions we are having on this very website can be seen as minor protests.

Re:Protests are a display of effort (1)

ponos (122721) | about 3 months ago | (#46738509)

I agree with your post. People physically walking in the street are much more impressive than 120000 clicks. Have you seen 100000 people in the street recently? Nevertheless, I would like to add that if the web campaign results in monetary losses, as in people cancelling orders or boycotting companies, it could result in significant distress.

As you say, in the end it has to be much more concrete than virtual "downthumbs".

Noisy protests are attractive to immature minds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46736231)

Those who seek instant gratification in everything they do feel that online protests and social media are meaningful but they fail to realise that the only people they have any chance of influencing also have the attention span of goldfish and will be off to rant about the next big issue as soon as the next noisy narcissist steps up onto the social media stage to wave the red flag of outrage in their naive faces.

Significant and meaningful change arises from the incremental growth and development of projects, not by noisy and destructive tantrums conducted by flash mobs. Good and great things are built up slowly and methodically by people who are not after a buzz from destroying this weeks popular hate target.

Will there be a backlash? Why bother when fools are so easily distracted, it is more likely there will be a rise in the number of false causes and mirage targets to keep the children busy while the adults get on with building a better world in a productive and creative manner.

No (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 3 months ago | (#46736809)

It's all angry feel gooderism pointless bullshit.

Smack the Sponsors (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 3 months ago | (#46737765)

If a few million people stop supporting a company because they spend ad dollars at Fox News we might see serious changes at Fox. The powerful do understand a punch in the wallet rather quickly.

Sarah Jones mention in the Oscars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46738337)

An online petition help push the Oscars to mention onair killed film worker Sarah Jones during the in memoriam segment, usually reserved for only the top of the top

Drop DropBox now (1)

akubot (1285646) | about 3 months ago | (#46739447)

In addition to them choosing Condoleezza Rice (ewwwww!) for their Board of Directors, did you know @Dropbox costs 4x more than Google Drive for 500GB?

Sign the petition and Drop Dropbox now: http://chn.ge/1iExYQW [chn.ge]

And check out #DropDropbox

https://support.google.com/dri... [google.com]

Noticed these 30 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46740431)

Do I see a mention of Avaaz.org? It has been a huge force for change, and the phenomenon is very signficant.
Or is this just another case of one important movement (e.g. Slashdot, a presumably large constityency of high tech wizards) simply not noticing another massive movement (maybe 30 million ? active participants worldwide)?

protest does not force change. (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 3 months ago | (#46741357)

Protest raises awareness, but it does not force change.

Companies only change when you threaten their bottom line. Boycott forces change. You protest to raise awareness, and then you switch to boycott.

In the case of Mozilla, OKCupid not working for Firefox was what did it. People were starting to not use Firefox, and that couldn't stand. So, out went Eich... A good example of this is the bus boycotts in the south during the 60's. Thousands of people stopped taking buses, stopped PAYING, and change happened. People marching with signs? Whatever....

As a side note, this is why Occupy was good at raising awareness, and bad at effecting change.

Web Protest: helps raise awareness, but doesn't force change. People not using products or services, or avoiding a company, forces change.

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