Civic Voices, Empowerment and Media Literacy in the Digital Era
Chapter 11 – Epilogue: Revolutions and Reality: Community Action in an Era of State Intrusion and Corporatization of Digital Networks
~ Epilogue ~
REVOLUTIONS AND REALITY: COMMUNITY ACTION IN AN ERA OF STATE INTRUSION AND CORPORATIZATION OF DIGITAL DETWORKS
THE DIGITAL era, and particularly the rapid growth of the Internet since the development of the World Wide Web twenty-five years ago, has seen a global revolution in communication, transforming nearly every facet of life in the 21st century—from politics, economics, and commerce, to cultural production, information gathering and distribution, and the construction of social identities. This is not a historical moment without precedent. The development of new communication technologies has nearly always been transformational, from the printing press to the telegraph, radio and television. However, each previous medium developed more slowly, usually over decades and sometimes longer. By contrast, the reach and effects of digital media, which have grown at the same exponential pace as the processing power and speed needed to drive them (doubling approximately every two years, according to Moore’s law), have occurred at such a rapid pace that it is often difficult to recognize and understand the most recent technological development and its impact on society before rushing to catch up with the next.
Any effort to assess the impact of the digital era on community organizing, mobilization, and democratic change worldwide, as the authors in the preceding chapters have attempted to do, faces a similar conundrum. The frequency and intensity of protests around the globe have seen a sharp uptick in the first two decades of this...
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