by Mary Joyce
This video, a digital honors thesis produced by Carmel Delshad of the University of South Florida, provides a nuanced view of digital activism in the Middle East. It talks about the importance of political and social factors that contextualize digital activism. It is optimistic while acknowledging the dangers of censorship and repression. It does not discount successes or downplay failures. It draws on the opinions of activists, citizen journalists, and scholars, realizing that all perspectives have a role in explaining digital activism. Most of all, it seems that Ms. Delshad is trying to get at the truth, not to present evidence to support a pre-existing point of view on the value of digital activism.
This is the direction I would like to see for all explorations of digital activism: putting personal bias and black-and-white logic aside to explore digital activism in all its complexity. Digital activism is as heterogeneous as the socio-political contexts in which it exists. In order to move the field of digital activism forward, we must first acknowledge that all the easy answers are wrong.
hat-tip: Mideast Youth