Eternally Contested Internet: The 1980’s

A Moment of Collaboration The overarching theme of this series on the history – and pre-history – of the Internet is conflict: different actors with different goals and visions shaping the medium. The 1960’s saw a tension between the Cold War and the counter-culture. The 1970’s saw the rise of commercial firms since advances in…

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Eternally Contested Internet: The 1970’s

During the 1960?s, when computers filled rooms or entire buildings, they were tools of academic computation and war. Yet there was an alternative vision, exemplified in the Whole Earth Catalog, that information could be collected and disseminated by and for the people. In the 1970’s, as computers became more reliable, smaller, and (marginally) less expensive,…

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Eternally Contested Internet: The 1960’s

Is the Internet a boon to capitalists or anarchists? Tyrants or dissidents? The powerful or the powerless? The short answer is “yes.” The Internet has made fortunes in e-commerce just as it aids hackers who wish to attack online storefronts (see Anonymous’s attack of Amazon.com in 2010). The Internet makes it easier for oppressive governments…

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Digital Activism: A Look Back

Sometimes, the best way to move forward is to pause and take a look back. With the global debates about digital activism still raging, this post will highlight some of the scholarly works from the past few years that provide insights into the evolution of thought on digital activism. Studying these observations against the current…

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