This panel is about the many ways in which modern internet adoption and use mirrors the development of agrarian sharecropping in the South following the Civil War- whereby African Americans provided massive amounts of labor to make other people rich, but could never move beyond basic subsistence living. According to the Pew Internet& American Life Project,as of May 2011, 25% of online African Americans now use Twitter, compared with 9% of such whites. African-American and Latino internet users are each significantly more likely than whites to be Twitter adopters. One out of ten African-American internet users now visit Twitter on a typical day—that is double the rate for Latinos and nearly four times the rate for whites. Pew research has also indicated that Blacks and Latinos are significantly more likely to use mobile devices to text message, use social networking sites, use the internet, watch and record videos, make charitable donation, use email, play games, listen to music, instant message and post multimedia content online. Yet disproportionate consumption of technology among Blacks, does not appear to be translating into wealth building and job creation in a community facing a 16.1 unemployment rate. Techcrunch founder, Michael Arrington caused a minor controversy when CNN’s Soledad O’Brien asked him about Black entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and Arrington replied “I don’t know a single Black entrepreneur.” In 2012, the definition of Digital Divide appears to have shifted from access to technology to how communities of color leverage that technology.
by Steven Levy
It's easy to get caught up with the horse races of Facebook versus Google or Microsoft versus Apple or record labels versus the Internet. But in nearly 30 years of covering technology I find that the major conflicts are those of philosophy, politics and power. You could almost view the past few decades as a spectacular cycle of fantasy novels with the Hacker Spirit as the protagonist and amazing supporting characters including Steve Jobs, Richard Stallman, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Stephen Wolfram, Whitfield Diffie, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg (all of whom I've spent considerable time interviewing.) And as our lives are more intertwined with the giant digital shift, these conflicts are ever more vital. Here's an attempt to deconstruct a revolution--and point to what's ahead.
In 2010 Brazil elected their first female president, Dilma Rousseff. Not only was she the first female to be elected, she was also unique in being the first candidate in Brazil to connect with millions of voters online to solidify public opinion. While many emerging markets, South America in particular, love social media, their electorate had never participated in elections through an online medium. The session will explore the future of digital in Brazil (and emerging markets) that have thus far embraced the evolution of new media, mostly by embracing it via traditional media channels. We will look at how, by leveraging diverse social media channels, Dilma’s team was able to introduce and humanize her in a way never before seen by the Brazilian people.
It takes optimism to launch revolutions, to believe that you can end decades of dictatorship and that you deserve freedom and dignity. Why are the people of the Middle East and North Africa - all too aware of the challenges they face in rising up to despots - more optimistic about their revolutions and uprisings than those outside the region - who all too often take for granted their own freedoms?
From his first day in office, President Obama put a priority on an open and engaging government. From Hangouts to hashtags, the White House is utilizing social media to interact with Americans everyday on the issues that they care about the most. As the first Administration in history to have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and elsewhere online, the White House’s social media strategy is focused on creating opportunities for meaningful engagement. This session will highlight the #40dollars campaign surrounding the payroll tax cut extension, White House Hangouts and more. Kori Schulman, Deputy Director of Online Outreach at the White House, will discuss how the Administration is breaking new ground to engage with citizens in the digital age and what’s next.
by Jimmy Schulz
Jimmy Schulz attended SXSW in 2011 and announced during the panel session „Make Citizens Social: Digital Participation in Public Services“ that next year he would report the results of the implementation of “Adhocracy” in the German parliament. The Inquiry Committee “Internet and digital society” has been experimenting with the application of Liquid Democracy ( www.demokratie.de ) this last year. New forms of democratic participation thanks to technical innovation can help reduce public dissatisfaction with politics. Significantly, these tools can improve transparency, which is important for political legitimization and helping people better understand and identify with political decisions. Jimmy Schulz would like to report on the initial results of the application of these tools in the German Parliament.
by Molly Sauter
Hollywood and the international news media delight in presenting us with depictions of hackers and hacktivists as subterranean Ohmian "Super Users," capable of hacking *all* the ISPs with a few keystrokes in between shots of Red Bull. How do these depictions, both in fiction and news coverage of hacktivist actions, affect the development and implementation of Internet policy and regulations? In this talk, I'll be examining how media coverage and depictions of hackers and hacktivists has changed as the hacktivist movement has developed since the 1980s. I'll be describing how such coverage, from "Sneakers" to photo galleries of Fawkes-masked Anonymous protests, influences policy on subjects from intellectual property and communications regulations to information security and cyberwar. I'll be questioning what these trends of laws, regulations, and apparent media biases mean for the future of hacktivism and digital activism.
9th–13th March 2012