Indigenous Rights- Social Movements-Facebook

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The forced closure of Aboriginal communities proposed by the Australian government this year has sparked social movements in protest. Facebook has been used  to make their struggle known to a wide audience. Petray’s study ‘Protest 2.0 online interactions and Aboriginal activists’ examine the use of Web 2.0 to supplement ‘offline’ activism. The benefit of the internet is that it is a platform accessible even to traditionally marginalized sectors of society such as the remote Aboriginal communities (Kral 2010).  Moe (2010) suggests this should make it easier for those at the political periphery easier access to the political core.Focusing on Indigenous Australia, Singleton et al. (2009) argue that interactive digital technologies like YouTube and Facebook can empower Aboriginal young people as they share their culture with an outside audience Garcia et al. (2009) point out that sites like facebook actually enhances the possibilities for the ‘presentation of self’ (Goffman, 1959). In other words, online environments provide people the opportunity to clarify who they are to their social networks, (Salimkhan et al., 2010; Strano, 2008) essentially fitting with goals of self determinism.

The articles discusses the  rise of Facebook and other social networking sites as forms for cyber-activism. Facebook allows users to seamlessly merge their various interest political as well as social, as they post links to articles and events or publicly express their thoughts to their entire network of ‘friends’ The interactivity enabled by Web 2.0 serves to expand the ‘virtual we’ of Indigenous solidarity, encompassing not just Indigenous people but their supporters, and many sympathetic individuals from around the world.The sites demonstrated above link online and offline activism through the arrangement  of marches and protests which provide a physical space  where those who wish to be strongly involved in the movement  can come together which Petray 2011 see’s as a crucial factor in making online social networking work for protests.

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