Boyd, Sample and Park reiterate the themes race, class, inequality, oppression, racism, labels…. (I’m sure I’m missing a few) and apply these themes to social networks and communities. Boyd focuses on the separation of society onto two major social media sites: Myspace and Facebook. Sample and Park describe how twitter can be used as a platform for activism.
Boyd draws parallels between white flight and teens movement from Myspace to Facebook. Myspace and Facebook resembled a prison yard with networks separated by race, class, gender…etc. Myspace housed those prisoners from the hood while the white-collar criminals went over to Facebook. White flight may have been a little too strong of a word. No one was actively preventing Myspace users from switching over to Facebook; whereas with white flight there were actual obstacles to be overcome in order to move to the suburbs. .
Sample and Park opened my mind to new ways the internet has become a digital medium for activism, namely twitter.
Sample shed light on how robots are being used on twitter to disseminate information. What he really focused on were robots used for activism. Sample gives the example of the @NSA_PRISMbot which he used to spread ‘fake news’ about the NRA. For the academic these robots can be a source of data for future studies.
Park took a different approach. Park built a community from the bottom up and gave that organization a name, #NotYourAsianSidekick. Private companies were consulting her about how to get a popular hashtag. Park broke down how a hashtag is a community thing. It is interesting how in the end the companies still put the spotlight back on her.
If you are online chances are you are part of a community. Individuals either actively seek out these communities or unknowingly join. In most instances users knowingly migrate towards a group of their choosing whether by hashtags or online friend circles. Right now I think a lot of us are trying to figure out how all of this changes our perception of community