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dan mcquillan's List: social media campaigning IS71055A - lecture 2 - agile campaigns and social movements

    • Like many people, I've learned to live with a generalised, low-level irritation about the content of some of the tabloids.
    • That evening I began tweeting (@the_z_factor), knocking around a few ideas with friends: egging NewsCorp's offices? Going to the shops on Sunday and turning over all the copies of the paper? It didn't seem enough. The only way to show the company how people really felt was by hitting them where it hurts: their wallets. And while I didn't think I could reach their regular readers to ask them not to buy the paper, I realised who I could influence, with a following wind and enough people behind me: their advertisers.

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  • Jul 11, 11

    We do not yet know the scale of the Twitter and Facebook campaign on companies to pull their ad spend. A sense of it can be gleaned by the 150,000 submissions to Ofcom over the BSkyB takeover.

    It was the present and future threat to advertising revenue and to investment that forced Mr Murdoch to kill the News of the World.

    • Online politics is the flowing, ever-shifting practice of micro-political decisions and stances, which might be termed “Liquid Politics”. The powerful currents of these Liquid Politics tend to go unnoticed until they come together in one of the many “Agile Movements” that emerge from time-to-time.
    • But if we look inside these movements we see complexity, and we can detect a core of deeply rooted pre-industrial human behaviours mediated through a digitally interconnected global society. This combination of ancient practices and new technology means that Agile Movements, or something like them, are unlikely to be a fad.

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    • A handmade campaign against welfare cuts launched by a tiny band of disabled activists took the social media world by storm.

      Over the course of Monday 9 January, hundreds of thousands of people tweeted around #spartacusreport. In the jargon, the hashtag "top trended" for most of the day. In other words, of all the topics of the day, a serious report (entitled Responsible Reform) outlining in careful detail the government's alleged multiple lies and evasions over its proposed disability living allowance (DLA) reform had proved, incredibly, hugely popular.

    • Prior to last Monday, virtually all the mainstream media had ignored the report, and the campaign itself. That morning, the buzz, diligently begun by a network of hundreds of disabled people, started to grow.

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    • Spartacus is a grass-roots movement that started with the publication of the Responsible Reform report which revealed overwhelming opposition to the Government’s proposed welfare reforms, in particular the proposal to reform Disability Living Allowance (DLA). The Report was entirely researched and written by disabled people, including Sue Marsh, Kaliya Franklin, Sarah Campbell, Declan Gaffney, Mason Dixon, Leigh James, Sam Barnett-Cormack, Rhydian Fon-James and Dawn Willis  and several others.
    • Responsible Reform was based on a rigorous analysis of the 523 organisational responses to the Government’s consultation on reform of disability living allowance which closed in February 2011. The report also analysed the reasons behind the increase in recent years in the number of DLA claimants.
    • While there are fears that traditional methods of disability activism are on the wane, a new campaigning spirit is been forged using the social media revolution.

      The past 18 months have seen the first flowerings of a new network of activist groups and a shared, inclusive approach that has thrust their engaging campaigning style into the public eye.

      Galvanised by the government's draconian welfare reform agenda, the new activism arguably is helping to renew a disability movement thought by some to have lost its way in recent years.

    • This was not a traditional campaign – one that had started with a letter to the Guardian or a meeting a in dusty civic hall and grown through charity lobbying. It grew rapidly and lived through social media networks bringing together and giving a voice to tens of thousands of people who were excluded from mainstream media and politics.

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