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The false media focus on violence: If it bleeds it still leads

On Sunday, August 27, in downtown Berkeley, I witnessed thousands of protesters raising their voices against a planned white supremacist “Patriot Prayer” rally. In my decades as a documentary filmmaker of activism and now an academic studying movements and media, it was one of the most positive, diverse and unifying gatherings I ever observed. While [...]

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5 reasons why online Big Data is Bad Data for researching social movements

I know, I know, it’s digital blasphemy to say that using Internet data is a terrible way to study social movements. What about all of those Twitter and Facebook revolutions of the Arab Spring? And Occupy Wall Street? #Ferguson and #BlackLivesMatter spread like wildfire, for God’s sake. You may think that I’m a luddite who [...]

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Bringing the Organization Back In: Social Media and Social Movements

In the digital era of so-called Facebook revolutions or hashtag activism, many claim that participation in social movements is individualized and personalized, but building and sustaining a political movement, even an online movement, still requires organization. I make this argument in my recent blog post at the Berkeley Journal of Sociology.

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Is Moral Monday the Tortoise and Occupy the Hare?

Is Moral Monday the Tortoise and Occupy the Hare?

If you haven’t heard of the Moral Monday Movement, stay tuned. One year ago, on April 29, 2013, 17 people, including ministers, academics and workers, were arrested in the North Carolina legislative building in Raleigh. The 2012 general election ushered in a conservative take-over and super majority of the North Carolina General Assembly and a [...]

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