Technology and documenting OWS History

As Malcolm Gladwell simply states, technology has reinvented social activism, and this is evident in the Occupy Wall Street movement. The shift of social activism from strongly tied personal connections to loosely connected social media platforms has allowed for the rapid and immediate sharing of information which has revolutionized the way Occupy Wall Street has spread across the country.

Technology has not only effected how the movement has spread, but also how the history of the OWS movement is portrayed. The increased usage of social media outlets and blogging has shifted the way OWS is reported. No longer are social movements only reliant on traditional media to document its history. Anyone now has access to millions of people via the internet and can document the history of the movement as they see it. As the History of the Occupy Wall Street movement is further looked into, it is important to realize that now because of technology there is no static, commonly accepted, history of the movement. This is because the revolutionized reporting of the Occupy Wall Street now spans from the traditional media sources (newspapers, journals ect.) to non-tradition (blogs, tumblers, ect.) and social media outlets.



3 responses to “Technology and documenting OWS History

  1. coffeeshoprhino

    Can you tie your argument about the history of the movement back into Gladwell’s argument? Especially since his articles focuses on how contemporary social media technology has not had a positive effect on social movements.

  2. You state that there is no static, commonly accepted history of the movement because of the new social media, but I’m not certain Gladwell would agree with that characterization of the role of the new media. Gladwell seems to argue not that there is no single accepted history because of new media, but that there is now an ever more corrupted history. Gladwell writes, “Innovators tend to be solipsists. They often want to cram every
    stray fact and experience into their new model. As the historian Robert Darnton has written, “The marvels of communication technology in the present have produced a false consciousness about the past” (Gladwell). That is, Gladwell does not seem to agree, as you claim, that the old forms of media (for instance, journalism) have been replaced by new media (for instance, twitter), but that the old media retains its role as the accepted history, but is corrupted by reliance on a false history being put out by the new media. Gladwell seems to support the notion that traditional media are still looked to to write the accepted stories of history–new media have simply become a part of that story.

  3. Do you think that the techonology revolution within social movements has had a positive or negative impact the public’s knowledge of the issues involved? Since there are so many more outlets than the traditional media in present day movements, this greatly increases the public’s access to information. However, since pretty much anyone can post about OWS, the likelihood that the information is not accurate or incomplete also greatly increases. What do you think? What do you think Wasik or Gladwell would say?

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