A partir da difusão das tecnologias digitais para a comunicação, teve início um processo de geração e acumulação de dados pelo Norte Global, composto pelas empresas proprietárias dessas plataformas. Surge então o big data, que tem servido para fins de controle e exploração das populações do Sul Global. Os movimentos sociais atuam neste contexto como agentes externos à estrutura que perpetua essa dominação, e assim podem abrir caminho para a construção de relações mais democráticas (SANTOS, 2016). Na presente pesquisa, considera-se o aumento das liberdades individuais tais como desenvolvidas por Sen (2010) como indicador para se analisar o aumento da democratização. Portanto, o principal objetivo deste trabalho é destacar as contribuições e impactos dos movimentos sociais sobre o processo de democratização por meio da esfera digital. Foi realizada uma pesquisa bibliográfica a fim de construir o modelo analítico posteriormente utilizado para o estudo do caso Ni Una Menos. O movimento Ni Una Menos foi escolhido por ser um movimento recente, ativo, consistente e representativo do Sul Global, além de já ter apresentado impactos concretos para a sociedade na Argentina. A montagem do caso se baseou na coleta de materiais documentais levantados nas redes sociais e site do movimento, além do uso de reportagens jornalísticas para compor o contexto em que o movimento atua. Com este trabalho, espera-se notar de que formas as tecnologias digitais são empregadas pelo Ni Una Menos, de modo a destacar as suas táticas digitais e como elas contribuem para o aumento da democratização.
Cyberactivism as a sociopolitical phenomenon: an integrated analytical model for democratization within networked societies
As digital technologies became important tools for a large number of people, the corporations which control such devices and software gained access to huge amount of data generated by online activities (FUCHS; TROTTIER, 2017). Once these corporations are based in the Global North, data and their products are also concentrated in region. For this reason, the inclusion of Southern epistemologies in discussions regarding the phenomenon of datafication is important to develop a more effective analysis of the power relations between the Global North and South.
The use of digital technologies by social movement emerges in this context as possibility to resist the intended use of commercial online platforms, which maintain exploitative relations. According to Santos (2016), the key for democratization in the present moment is the struggle to transform unequal power relations into relations of shared authority, prioritizing the social dimension. The author’s perspective of democracy and the Global South is adopted to explain how digital technologies may assist activists in social movements.
Sen’s (2010) contributions regarding the instrumental freedoms are also considered to analyze the process of democratization and its impacts on individuals. On a micro level, Sen’s (2010) theory explains the increase of individual freedoms, which should create better conditions for people to participate in the democratization process.
The author’s perspective of development takes into consideration multiple dimensions, dodging an economic centered approach and allowing a sociopolitical one. This way, this paper focuses on activism and social movements’ tactics and strategies instead of the role of digital technologies. The main objective of this work is therefore to highlight the contributions and impacts which social movements may cause in the processes of democratization by means of the digital sphere.
Concerning the methodological journey, a bibliographical research on the theme of digital activism was carried to create an analytical model, which contains 3 main tactical categories, composed of a few modalities which represent a purpose to an action.
The model is subsequently applied to analyze social movements’ use of the digital sphere. To select the movement a few criteria were taken into account. The movement had to: be broad and consistent; be active between 2016 and 2020; not be a formal organization (such as an NGO or political party); present concrete results; be representative of the Global South.
This selection resulted in the case of Ni Una Menos, which started in 2015 in Argentina and has been active ever since. During the past 5 years, the movement has achieved important results, such as the passing of laws and the implementation of national plans to eradicate gender-based violence.
To study this case, posts and information from the movement’s website and social media will be retrieved and systematically analyzed considering the 3 tactical categories. This way, this paper will point out the modalities used by Ni Una Menos, which tools they can employ, what are their goals and expected outcomes. To better comprehend the context in which Ni Una Menos exists, Argentinean news reports were collected from 2015 to the present moment.
The aim of applying this analytical model to the case of Ni Una Menos is (1) to point out the digital tactics employed by the movement in the past and (2) to propose future strategies.