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Anarchist CyberneticsControl and Communication in Radical Politics$
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Thomas Swann

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529208788

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529208788.001.0001

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Communication (Part II): Building Alternative Social Media

Communication (Part II): Building Alternative Social Media

(p.119) 7 Communication (Part II): Building Alternative Social Media
Anarchist Cybernetics

Thomas Swann

Policy Press

Chapter Seven presents a schematic account of the functions a social media platform would need to have in order to fulfil the roles required of it by anarchist cybernetics. Drawing on the negative critiques of existing social media platforms and the positive requirements outlined by activists and scholars, this chapter asks what an alternative social media platform would look like and how it would be different from the commercial platforms we use everyday. The chapter identifies four broad lines of critique aimed at the use of social media in anarchist cybernetic organising: (1) the privacy critique (2) the political economy critique; (3) the weak ties critique; and (4) the political subjectivity critique. The chapter provides a sketch of what such an alternative platform would look like, identifying the key features that aid the functionality of such a platform for self-organisation.

Keywords:   Social media, Alternative social media, Privacy, Political economy, Weak ties, Subjectivity

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