Online Activism

The political organization I am familiar with doesn’t have English versions, so I went to Wikipedia to search for a political organization website that is comparable to Moveon.org. The organization “Glaad” (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance against Defamation) caught my eyes. This website (organization) attempts to amplify the voice of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) group; it especially focus on preventing media to negatively portray LGBT. Although the issue of Glaad cares isn’t quite related to Moveon.org, I sill discover some similarity between these two websites.

Rohlinger and Brown indicate that after 9/11, the anti-war activists were being labeled as unpatriotic (p.140). Therefore, the participants of MoveOn.org regarded online participation less risky, for they can discuss anonymously online to prevent acquaintances labeling them. The online forum gave those who have dissents a platform to present their thoughts and be heard without expose identities in the real world. This less-risky trait of MoveOn.org (especially after the 9/11) is similar to Glaad. Glaad has provided a platform for those who don’t want their sexuality to be out of closet in the real life, but at the same time wish the voice to be heard. Both of these websites create a platform for minority voices to be able to gather together.

Moveon.org and Glaad both have the similar layout of their websites. Both websites have a category for “press,” which implies that the organization is influential among similar organizations. The “blog” and the “stories” categories enable participants to discuss the issue and express their thoughts. The “donate”, “publications”, and “event” categories linked the virtual world to the real world, which engage the participants in “intermediary forms of activism (p.133).” As Rohlinger and Brown indicate, the real world participations of Moveon.org include “engage in discussion, watch a film, and write personalized letters to officials (p.144).” The website of MoveOn indicate that there are a lot of campaigns that they are working on, and they hope people could voluntarily join in real life. On the other hand, the Glaad also have real world events such as workshop for “new media training at creating change” and “thank Glaad it’s Friday”; the LGBT group amplifies their voice by these real world call-to-actions, which is also a form of activism. The internet helps these two organizations to connect regional participants to join local events, which make the voice of grassroots stronger.

It should be noted that the website of Glaad has a category called “report media defamation.” Participants can report the likely-defamation in media (i.e. TV, magazine) in order to let Glaad to request the media to not doing so. This category gives the participants who want to be anonymous also have a chance to participate in semi-real -world events.

To sum up, Glaad present a phenomenon as the article mentioned: provide a space for people to form point of view away from dominant groups; allows individuals to participate anonymously and buffers challengers from high cost of activism; and moves challenges from virtual to real world (p.133).

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Carol
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 01:59:38

    Reply

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