A New form of Activism.


In 1990 the way the world communicated changed dramatically when the World Wide Web made its debut changing the way computers talk to each other. The result of that groundbreaking technology was that people could also communicate ideas, images, media, and information to each other with great speed and through long distances at the touch if a keyboard. The culture of the future had built its foundation on the culture of the past taking the Internet to places never imagined while using it for purposes to fit modern times. As a famous Starship Captain once said, “To boldly go where no man has gone before”(James T. Kirk). That place is now digital activism, and hacktivisim.


attacked by dog

It has been approximately 47 years since the Civil Rights Act of 167 since the  savage beatings bestowed upon protestors with water house, imprisonment, and even attacks by dogs. In today’s society activist have taken to a new form of protest born from Internet called Digital Activism and Hacktivism. Digital activism is a way to use the networking power of the Internet to protest. In the early days of the Internet this phenomenon would not have been possible. As technology grew and Web 2.0 transformed the Web, architects began to build new platforms for information sharing and displaying information. Activist saw this as an opportunity. While the tools were made in the idea of sharing pictures, such as pictures of cats mentioned in the web blog “The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism”, activist saw it as a way to network. “Activism is a stronger test – if activists are using your tools, it’s a pretty good indication that your tools are useful and usable”(Ethan Zuckerman). Activist could use these online tools to protest injustice by gathering support from others who would have not normally been available. In many ways this a familiar and yet new approach to activism. The Civil Rights movement used the medium of television to reach the world. This form of activism however does not require physical presence, or the possibility of physical injury to be involved. It is forward in thinking and progressive in style as the sits in’s  protest of old now take place via the Web. It was through this new age of activism that Alaa Abdel was able to blog about his imprisonment form prison through his wife. Abdel was able to draw national attention through his wife’s blogs attracting the like of CNN and Al Jazeera. These same techniques have also been used here in the United States through Twitter platforms such #bringbackourgirls to bring awareness about the kidnapped girls in Nigeria.


Unknown-1   Unknown

Digital Activism has also taken another form in China with Human-Flesh search engines. This form of digital activism like mentioned above is based upon a network of people wired through the Internet. The difference is that the Human-Flesh search engine works as a vigilante style of justice looking to hunt those who have violated the moral code of the public and punish them. Much like the Hackers of Hacktivism. This group of talented individuals also see themselves as keepers of a moral code. That code being that information should not be horded and not to trust authority and promote decentralization. Hacktivism is the application of information technologies to political action. Their code may not apply to all people but for the select few that call themselves hackers, it is their creed. In the article WikiLeaks and the Hacktivist Culture, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is thought of to be great man amongst hackers but yet a threat to government. Hacktivist have found ways to expose secrets of corporations such as Sony to show the world what really transpires behind closed doors. Hacktivist have also exposed corrupt government officials and have criticized the Church of Scientology for its censorship. Do you agree with the exposing of secrets information to public or believe that some things should remain secret? How do you feel about the vigilante style Human Search-Engine? Does it cause more harm than good? And finally, do you think digital activism would have had worked for the Civil Rights Movement? Would there have been less violence and could Dr. King lead his troops from the safety of a computer screen?


27 thoughts on “A New form of Activism.

  1. rmpaulk April 1, 2015 / 12:07 pm

    There are some things that I believe should be exposed and others that I believe should remain secret. I believe in transparency. I think that this is our country and our tax dollars and that we should have full knowledge of what is going on. Don’t try and protect me, inform me. With that in mind, there are things that should stay secret, like where our nukes are located. That should not be public knowledge, but things that are shady should either be told to the public or not done at all.
    I think the vigilante style Human Search-Engine is kind of a bad idea. I get the good behind it, but at the end of the day you need to leave things up to the authorities. You should only take justice into your own hands if it is your only and last option. You could be doing more harm than good, and who’s to say that what you think is “right” is actually right?
    I’m not sure if digital activism would have worked for the Civil Rights Movement. I think it would have helped, but I don’t think it would have made as big of an impact. Rallying up support and informing the public through the internet is a great thing and very helpful tool, but I don’t think it is very visual. It is one thing to see thousands of people protesting something online, but it is a completely different thing when you see thousands of people protesting something in person. It is more powerful and actually causes change. I think the internet can help to inform and get more people to show up, plus it gives you the chance to see those who support the cause but can’t be at the rally. Conclusion: it would have definitely helped, but it wouldn’t have solved the problem by itself.


    • kevinpayton1 April 1, 2015 / 3:14 pm

      I agree that some things should be kept secret. I believe their is information that the government purposely keeps guarded due to the severity of its release to the general public. Also I think it was the visual of the violence of the Civil Rights movement that forced the public to react. At that time the U.S had held itself in high regards for human rights, yet treated its on people with none.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Carly Hernandez April 1, 2015 / 1:47 pm

    I think that if the hacktivists are there to benefit the greater good of the people, they should be exposing the things that they think will help us not harm us in the end. Groups like ‘Anonymous’ have been present in situations such as the riots in Ferguson, threatening Israel and other important events. If there is something that the whole world should know, like attacks going on, riots, scandals and things of that nature, then I think it is in the benefit of the people. But secrets of the government that might cause disaster or a war are things that should be left alone and not invaded by hacktivists. It is better to be informed of what’s going on than to continue with lies from the media and the government. Maybe there could be a hacktivist group that focuses on positive things that people are doing behind closed doors and bring those people in the light to encourage the truth and the good in others.

    As for the vigilant style Human-Search Engine, I don’t necessarily agree with the way the handle exposing people for reasons they may see, in a picture for example. Who knows what that person was actually doing but either way I think that I wouldn’t feel right that now even more people are watching my every move and they may misinterpret what I’m doing. In an article from the South China Post on the top court banning the human flesh search engines, they said that they are going to allow exceptions to the ban including when it “is in the public’s best interest, when the content had the written consent of the person whose information was being revealed, and when it was by schools or scientific research institutions for research of statistical purposes.” (m.scmp.com) This should also be applied for the situations the group Anonymous should obey by.

    I think that digital activism might have worked for the Civil Rights Movement but I don’t think that there would have been any less violence because of it. This is a good question to think about though. I think the people of that time wanted to be there in person and experience what MLK had to say. Sure, if digital activism were around it would probably spread the word faster and allow people to communicate but I don’t think there would have been as great of an outcome as we would assume. Harassment online could potentially lead to even more violence in the real-world if it were used back then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kevinpayton1 April 1, 2015 / 3:23 pm

      Carly, I also agree that Human-Search engines are not a good idea. I believe they circumvent the law, but they do handle matters that would never go to court such as matters of morals. With that being said a persons fate is left up to public opinion. If such was the case in the U.S. what would have become of George Zimmerman, and Darren Wilson? It almost sounds like a lynch mob mentality. Reminds of the Salem Witch trials.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. bubbastinx April 1, 2015 / 4:07 pm

    I think Hacktivisim used for the cause of good is a great thing. It’s getting increasingly dangerous to keep certain institutions on the up and up. Many investigative journalist have died under susceptive circumstances over the last few years.

    I think Hacktivism is great tool to have to create a more peaceful world that respects human rights, and inalienable access to these fundamental rights.

    Unfortunately, I believe this is one part of the solution. We still need a active, enlightened, and engaged world citizens to participate. This tends to be a bigger problem. But, I’ll stay on topic.

    I could only imagine a world without Asange and Snowden. Most people can’t connect the dots, but historically bad things happen to people who seek to better the world against the wishes of traditional powers. Thus, new tools emerge to combat present tends.

    I believe Hacktivism and Activism work in tandem to further this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mvzang April 2, 2015 / 5:03 am

    Great blog. You bring up an excellent point about the Civil Rights Movement. I absolutely think that gathering of the masses via the internet would have excelled the movement more quickly, but to me the problem lies in this, no matter how much people blog or Tweet about some injustice, it really doesn’t take off until people are seen talking about it on news outlets, or viewed on other media sources. There could be many people just like the great MLK with visions and messages, but sitting behind a computer screen will only get them so much momentum. What I thought was really impressive about MLK was that he did walk the streets, protested on the streets, passed on his message on the streets. He wasn’t afraid of the inherent danger, and didn’t hide behind anything.

    People can be very cruel and while there are no words to describe what Wang Jiao did to that cat, we have our own vigilante style human search engine here. How many times do we see the police posting surveillance photos of homicide suspects on the news? Too often people don’t speak up and take advantage of anonymous tip lines set up. Isn’t that a form of activism? To bottom line it, I don’t agree with taking the law into our own hands, and we can certainly do more on our ends to help the authorities seek justice the proper way. So no, there should never be a vigilante system set up to have regular citizens hunt people down.


    • kevinpayton1 April 3, 2015 / 2:02 am

      I agree with the physical presence of people for making a impact such as the protest and marches use in the Civil Rights movement and other protest. While creating my blog for this week, it appeared to me that digital activism was very similar to #hashtagactivism if not one in the same. The internet has the ability to reach far more people than television media such as cell phones and iPads, but the Internet is quick to move on to the next trending topic. And vigilante style justice has never worked consistently. Except for Batman!


  5. Brandon Coulter April 2, 2015 / 2:30 pm

    The Human-Flesh Search system is the closest thing the world has to a real-life Justice League or Avengers, and I think that is amazing. This comical stance being said, their are obvious glaring issues with the system of Human-Flesh Searches. Yes, gathering vigilantes together in hopes of bringing down the villains of society sounds pretty rad on paper. The unfortunate flaw with this system is the inevitable slippery slope that will come from its extensive use. While being extremely useful in finding and shaming the baddies in the world, their will be a fair amount of innocent individuals that are prosecuted as a result of the Searches. It would be beyond simple to post a fraudulent photo or video on one of the Human-Flesh Search sites in hopes of people catching on to the cause of finding and destroying the person’s life as a result of their action(s). If taken to the extreme, jealous ex-boyfriends or fed-up coworkers can give their enemies the just -desserts they feel necessary to put them in their place, with societal shunning and career-ending consequences coming as a result of the Human-Flesh Search’s actions. This unfortunate blemish (among many other unlisted ones) on an otherwise excellent mode of public collaboration for a better world will more than likely be a good amount of the cases that exist on the Human-Flesh Search pages; however, for those of you that have committed wrongdoings in society and have been recorded doing so, you better watch out. The Internet is coming for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kevinpayton1 April 2, 2015 / 3:09 pm

      Brandon , I see it as don’t throw rocks it you live in a house made of glass. lol. How many participants in these searches are also committing some form of moral wrong, but are ready to ruin the life of their neighbor?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. nebior April 3, 2015 / 1:47 pm

    I feel that no secret should be kept from anyone. Unless it is a defense risk that could bring harm to people, there is no reason to prevent someone from knowing some piece of information. If people want to bring out secrets about corrupt people or organizations then I say that is great. If people bring out layouts of our country’s defenses then that probably is not the smartest thing to do. I had never heard of the Human Search-Engine before this class and I think it is an amazing idea. It makes sense to try to track people down online when they do something wrong online the same way you would track someone doing something not broadcast online. Using people on the internet to track people down is great because I could see a lot of people just spending their lives doing stuff like that. Some people spend their lives on reddit or playing video games, but this would give them something to do that could really help people. Dr. King could have performed his movement through the safety of the internet, but it likely would not have been as effective as the way it was done in person. It is hard to imagine how the internet would have worked back in the time of segregation. He may never have even been allowed to have access to the internet.

    — Ben Walker


    • kevinpayton1 April 4, 2015 / 3:10 pm

      I agree that corrupt business and organizations should be exposed for the way way behave behind closed doors. We as consumers often contribute to these organizations not knowing their true agenda or what their profits are being used for. Transparency for these business has never been their strong point and they have been allowed to mislead the public. This also is true of government also. The issue then becomes how do you find out which organization is purposely hiding information or misleading the general public without hacking into their systems prior?


  7. adrianhormsby April 4, 2015 / 8:26 am

    Do I think digital activism would have had worked for the Civil Rights Movement? Yes indeed, If MLK was alive today he would be celebrating the courage and ingenuity of hacktavists. He would see them as the digitally armed wing of the Civil Rights Movement, a vital group bringing the issue of Civil Rights to the very core of mainstream society, particularly white society. It’s like all social movements, until you’re confronted personally with the significance of the issue, until if affects you personally, it’s just someone else’s problem. What the Civil Rights Movement wanted, and I believe got, was exposure of the issue into the living rooms of white America. Images of black marchers being attacked by police dogs or being blasted with water cannons is exactly the images that shocked and alarmed average citizens, and not just in the North. Is interesting that we are discussing this very issue on the 50th anniversary of the march in Selma. One of the comments to this blog makes the point that the secrets of corrupt organizations should be exposed for what they truly are, corrupt. We don’t think twice about calling out Cyber bullies for their destructive and harmful behavior but we’re not allowed to do it when it comes to the corporation and authorities. What a double standard. This is why I believe digital activism is here to say. Would the Civil Rights Movement have used digital hackers had the internet been around in the 60’s, a resounding yes. And would it have worked, you bet. In fact, they would have been hailed as hero’s of the movement.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. cseejay April 5, 2015 / 1:59 am

    Had digital activism been a thing during the civil right movement, I think without a doubt the impact would not have had the same. There are so many reasons behind this, the biggest being the physical aspect of the entire movement. Being behind a computer screen today, and standing for something had much less impact. It seems people stand for things, it just doesn’t seem like they stand for these issues long term. When it comes to exposing secrets and information to the public, I think in most cases it should be exposed. My opinion is, not enough people look at what’s being exposed vs. who exposed it. Ultimately I don’t think it causes extreme amounts of harm, at least not to the extent the government usually claims. Then again, this could be due to the lack of knowledge of what’s compromised as a result of said information being exposed. I think that’s the most important part of the entire thing, “Hacktivist have found ways to expose secrets of corporations such as Sony to show the world what really transpires behind closed doors” SURPRISE, individuals in positions of power tend to lie, cheat, and steal despite what they say to the media for the public. I don’t think a lot of what’s leaked comes as a HUGE surprise to most, considering a lot of what’s revealed is usually suspected for quite sometime before hand. The leaks from the Hacktivist, just confirm and add validity to the suspected claims.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ms.McCollum April 5, 2015 / 11:32 am

    i think that exposing secrets of the government is a tricky question. I would yes and no. I think that the people want to know what is going on and in a place that is free we should know the secrets, On the other hand I also strongly believe that is the government is going to such lengths to keep the information from us then it should remain that way…in secret. Personally, I think that is we knew every detail of what is happening in the world we wold live in more fear than we already do. More hate groups, religious, or alien groups will pop up and who knows what that can lead to.
    As far as Martin Luther King Jr, I can’t imagine it helping. There are things that need rel action and not just words over the internet. I believe that it could have helped, but it would not have been a crutch. I had a class where we discussed the civil rights and the Chicago riots and those two would not have had as much impact if it was powered through a computer.


  10. sneff16 April 5, 2015 / 1:16 pm

    I agree with exposing some information to the public, but not all. Just cause can become a slippery slope when secrets are being leaked, especially those that involve government documents. While I understand that these vigilantes want corruption and lies exposed, it is important to ask “at what cost?” Releasing top secret documents can put a country’s safety at risk. It can also put individuals safety at risk. For example, the woman with the cat and the garbage can. She received death threats and had to have police protection. While her actions were despicable and disgusting, it is more appropriate for the law to take these cases into their hands rather than citizens. This is why police and court systems exist.


  11. jaemillz411 April 5, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    I do believe that there are a lot of secrets that are hidden from the public. I do believe that there are some secrets kept for our protection and others for the sake of making rich executives wealthier and to violate the rights of the public (PRISM).

    But where do we the draw the line with hacktivism. I am all for giving the power back to the people and having us all make informed uncensored decisions, but my question is what will keep these vigilantes reined in. Where do we draw the line?

    I do not think that we should just allow “anonymous” vigilantes roam free with no one to answer to besides what they believe to be just for the public. There are some things that should be kept secret. Just because you can expose something does not mean that you should. But overall, I think vigilantism is sometimes necessary to keep the power between big corporations and the public.

    And yes, I believe that digital activism would have been a great addition to the Civil Rights Movement. It could have spread the message further and gotten more participates in sit-ins and marches. I bet it would have been glorious. There would have been access to more information; I could only imagine the hashtags and memes.

    Digital activism along with television, print, and word of mouth would have sparked more involvement especially since you could support behind a computer screen, no matter where you lived in the world. I still think there would have been the same amount of violence or a little less because there would have been more eyes watching.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. galaradi April 5, 2015 / 3:31 pm

    I believe the exposing of secrets to the public is a right that the people deserve. It depends on what secret. If it is something that we deserve to know, then we should know it. If it is something that’s none of our business like where weapons are located, then we shouldn’t be spreading that information. Of course hacktivists should know not to spread information like that because they have a purpose and a mission, which is a form of protest. I’m all for it.

    The Human-Search Engine disturbed me because that sort of information shouldn’t be out there about people. This can actually create more harm and cause people to get hurt or die.

    I think digital activism would’ve worked for the Civil Rights Movement. There is nothing like protesting in person, but sometimes that can be more dangerous. Being anonymous online, people can express themselves more freely. Crimes would have been exposed, and people around the world would be outraged. I think a combination of both in-person protesting and online hacktivism would have turned the Civil Rights Movement into a more successful nationally recognized one.


  13. eakoonter April 5, 2015 / 4:04 pm

    People have been hacking communications for centuries. People decoded messages sent between war zones, wire tapped phone lines, etc. The Internet just made it more creative and easier. Now, we have different hackers. Ones that do good and others that do bad. When the Internet came out hackers were using viruses and doing evil. When the hackers saw what the government and corporations are doing to their people/consumers they turned around and started being on our side. Taking down companies like Sony and governments in others countries. We can thank Anonymous for most of these “kind” acts. They practically act as online protestors on our behalf.


  14. spgregor April 5, 2015 / 7:55 pm

    I don’t believe all secrets should be exposed to the public. However, I do believe the public has a right to know about secrets that affect our country as long as they are not national security risks. On the other hand, I don’t care what presidential candidates do in their bedrooms and don’t believe that should be fodder for the public. We should be informed about important things that affect us, not kept in the dark until some snitch comes forward and tells the country.

    I do not agree with the vigilante style Human Search-Engine. Everyone has different ideals, values, and morals and it really isn’t up to any of us to judge each other and decide someone else’s fate based on disagreeing with what they do. In my mind the one conducting the Human Search-Engine with the intent to destroy another’s life is also committing a crime. What kind of world would we live in if we all did this – it would be utter chaos.

    Would the Civil Rights Movement have benefited from digital activism? That is a very good question to ponder. On the one hand I want to say yes, if supporters had access to the internet – absolutely. I believe MLK would have found a way to utilize every conceivable avenue of the internet. On the other hand, I am not sure many of his supporters would have had access to the internet.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. asibo April 5, 2015 / 8:20 pm

    The ethics guiding the use of the human-flesh search in China is a very interesting one, because it falls outside the context of our own lives. As Tom Downey makes clear, the priorities and experiences of Chinese Netizens are much different than those of American Netizens, mainly that free access to content is not a given due to stringent policing by the Chinese government, and the relative lack of social media in Chinese online culture. To an American perspective, human-flesh search engines can seem somewhat barbaric, even the name: people digitally hunting down the physical identities of others in order to dole out vigilante justice. However, when compared to American trolling behaviors where people are doxed, stalked, and physically and verbally harassed in person for trifling reasons–gender, sexuality, political stances, etc.–human-flesh search engines seem far more humane, given that the victims of these searches have actually committed some form of meaningful wrong doing, at least in the examples given by Downey.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. seananthony3 April 5, 2015 / 8:53 pm

    Whether or not the civil rights movement would have succeeded using the internet is a very good question. The word would definitely reach more people, but so would oppositions to the movement. At the moment, this is what is happening to feminists, or anyone considered a “social justice warrior.” Groups of people get together to get the word out on change while other groups are pushing them down by using extreme examples in their group. However, the civil rights movement had to deal with more severe laws making it difficult to side against it (without coming off as a racist, at least). But then again, is there anyway to truly know how the internet could have changed a movement?


  17. mwiedmeyer April 5, 2015 / 9:15 pm

    I do believe that some things should remain secret. Not every citizen can be trusted to act responsibly when they have important information. Not to mention that some information would be leaked outside of the country and the United States usually has enough enemies that that wouldn’t be a good thing. If there’s a risk to national security, obviously that information should remain safely in the hands of the people who know what to do about it.

    Personally, I don’t think the Civil Rights Movement would have been as effective if it was online. The problem with digital activism is it leads many people to do less about important issues than they should be doing, myself included. I sign petitions online, tweet about issues, and post things on Facebook, but if I didn’t have those outlets, my passion for social justice would have led me into action by now. I think if the Civil Rights Movement had involved the internet, they wouldn’t have been nearly as successful as they ended up being.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. bjuhasz10 April 5, 2015 / 10:04 pm

    I tend to believe that hacktivism generally does more harm than good, but I actually think that the Civil Rights Movement might have been one of the few things that could have benefited from hacktivism. Causes seem to take off so much faster nowadays than in the past, before the times of internet or even TV. I think if pictures of people getting shot with water hoses, black people getting chased by dogs, and many of those other cruel pictures we have all seen from the 50’s and 60’s got posted online, I believe the Civil Rights Movement would have taken off exponentially faster.

    At the time, most of the news spread by newspapers, which cannot compete with the instant nature of today’s internet. Ultimately, I think the Civil Rights Movement would have been one of the rare cases where hacktivism might have actually helped.


  19. elrader2015 April 5, 2015 / 10:08 pm

    As I mentioned in the other post, I am all for exposing corporations and government to show what they are truly up to. I tend to believe that if you have a secret that big that you are hiding from the world, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing said thing anyway. However, I can see where it goes too far, especially in the cases of “doxxing” or leaking someone’s personal information online because things like this can lead to mob-mentality which is never a good thing. Hacktivism is one of those topics that I have mixed feelings on. On one hand, yes, expose the wrong-doers. On the other hand, how far is too far and where should we draw the line? In regards to MLK, it’s really hard to think about his movement in context to the internet because that was a completely different time in the world and playing the game of “what-ifs” can be exhausting. At the time, I think that his movement was more powerful than hacktivism. I say this because while it is such a tragedy that lives were lost, including Dr. King’s himself, his “I have a dream” speech captured the emotions of so many. Things like that never would have been the same online, just as the bus boycottes wouldn’t have been possible online. I see the pros and cons of hacktivism, but with the expansion of the internet and technology this isn’t something I see going away.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. hessaj April 5, 2015 / 10:39 pm

    I do believe that exposing the secrets from people like the government and such should happen, we have every right to know what they know. But will it really be for the better? Who knows. As for personal secrets from another regular human being, it probably shouldn’t. The difference between us and the government is that the government GOVERNS us and that it pretty much lets us know what to do and such. I’m not huge on politics, but to me it’s like if the government has a secret, that’s like giving out a test without letting you know what is entirely on the test, and it’s frustrating. Granted, we don’t know if they have secrets, but they more than likely do.


  21. blcarr April 5, 2015 / 10:45 pm

    As a distant member of the Black Student Union, I love your post. Im glad somebody else besides me spoke about the civil rights movement lol. But in the end, no matter how much we or I complain about not being treated fairly in society or even on campus no one really cares. I mean we make tweets and facebook post about it, I even go out as a member of CVN or WDIV to report on the mishaps or injustice happening on campus or in the city and all we get is a riot and maybe a civil rights leader to fly in to make a statement and the story is swept under the rug. Don’t get me wrong, the power of a tweet and # can spread the word in the matter of seconds but its online. We are sitting behind a screen protesting and rioting. If we riot in the streets, we destroy our own neighborhood which is making matters worse for society. We need those old school leaders like MLK, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey and Huey P Newton who took matters in their own hands, walk the streets in an orderly fashion. (well at least Dr King did) or even an orchestrated chaos. Im not a violent man but “by any means” is what I live by. These men were not afraid to take matters into their own hands. The world is so messed up, that cops are now wearing body suits and are still killing the innocent. How crazy is that? And we the media actually show the live footage! On a side note, I think its cool to take matters into our own hands to an extinct. I wouldn’t mind having a real life super hero protecting the streets like that former UFC fighter that lives in Seattle. I think his name is Phoenix Jones. People know that he is a trained killer and these idiots still test him. He even had a little army to help walk the streets as well. I think he is back in UFC now but to answer your question, yes I wouldn’t mind having or being the vigilante.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. thegradytrain April 5, 2015 / 11:21 pm

    I think transparency is always good in general, that is I think secret information should be free and available to the public. Programs like PRISM would not have been known without someone letting secret information like that known to the public. There is a dark side to too much transparency, like causing unwanted panic and fear for example, which is why certain things are supposed to be kept secret. It is frustrating to know that there are surely things that exist that are kept for us, but it is mostly for our own well being.

    Vigilantism is of course illegal, but it is often the most warranted and satisfying form of justice. I personally feel pretty good knowing that there is something looking out for the creeps and criminals that are under the radar of traditional law enforcement. I do not want to condone vigilantism but it certainly feels good when it happens. I do not think that programs like the Human Search-Engine are inherently bad, they probably good in general. It is the consequences that come after that information is known that can be bad.

    Digital activism would probably worked for the Civil Rights movement, although I don’t think it would have saved anyone harm. I think digital activism would just have been used as another front in the fight for civil rights. So while I think Dr. King could have led his fight on multiple fronts allowing for a more effective push, I also think that what happened would have happened eventually regardless of the technology.

    Liked by 1 person

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