From the announcement:
From the G8 demonstrations to the Occupy Movements, Idle No More, and revolutions in the Middle East, the last few years have witnessed a phenomenal upswing in the use of social media in popular protest. Social technology has played an important role in mobilizing grassroots opposition and, according to some scholars and pundits, it has served to politicize a broader base, bringing about greater participation in and new forms of civic action. Activists use platforms like Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to raise consciousness around lightning-rod issues. New technologies aid in the organization of demonstrations. They help mobilize emotions, map out logistics, and after all is said and done, they catalogue and document opposition success and further challenges. Social media’s democratizing potential is not without its detractors, however, and alongside concerns for the protection of privacy and surveillance, skeptics question whether networked publics really can serve as meaningful spaces of protest and opposition.