Cyberactivism: Online Activism in Theory and Practice illuminates many current vectors in online activism, never losing sight of the big picture. Martha McCaughy and Michael D. Ayers have assembled a stellar collection of scholarly essays. Sitting at the intersection of virtual and corporeal, theory and praxis, Cyberactivism observes the brief history, the current actions, and the future implications of online activism.
Dorothy Kidd uncovers the rise of Indymedia.org as a new communications commons. Sandor Vegh attempts to classify forms of online activism, and in doing so, provides a great overview of recent cyber actions worldwide. Lee Salter evokes Jürgen Habermas to analyze democracy and new social movements in light of the internet. Michael D. Ayers compares online and offline collective identities in feminist activists, while Joshua Gamson does the same for gay media. This far-reaching collection takes a serious look at the internet’s overall impact on activism, its ramifications for specific groups, and its potential for the future of all concerned.
As Cyberactivism proves over and over in earnest, online activism isn’t just about defacing corporate websites. It’s about community, collaboration, and the free exchange of ideas — three core ideals we could all do well to hold on to.
I marshal the middle between Mathers and McLuhan.