Some of the most remarkable impacts of digital media on political activism lie not in the new types of speech it provides to disorganized masses, but in the new types of listening it fosters among organized pressure groups. Beneath the easily visible waves of e-petitions, "likes," hashtags, and viral videos lies a powerful undercurrent of activated public opinion. In this book, David Karpf offers a rich, detailed assessment of how political organizations carefully monitor this online activity and use it to develop new tactics and strategies that help them succeed in the evolving hybrid media system. Karpf discusses the power and potential of this new "analytic activism," exploring the organizational logics and media logics that determine how digital inputs shape the choices that political campaigners make. He provides the first careful analysis of how organizations like Change.org and Upworthy.com influence the types of political narratives that dominate our Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter timelines. He investigates how MoveOn.org and it "netroots" peers use analytics to listen more effectively to their members and supporters.He also identifies two boundaries of analytic activism - the analytics floor and analytics frontier - which define the scope of this new style of organized citizen engagement. The book concludes by examining the limitations of analytic activism, raising a cautionary flag about the ways that putting too much faith in digital listening can lead to a weakening of civil society as a whole.
av David Karpf