Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

When dealing with social media platforms as spaces of activism these sites can be innovative, powerful, and fast-moving at best, and at its worst chaotic and unfocused. The line between these two distinctions is actually slighter than one might realize. This understanding of cyber activism became clearer when faced with the question “What is contemporary ‘blacktivism’ according to Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram?”

Being a avid user of the popular blogging platform, Tumblr, and as such well-versed in the language and etiquette of the site, I sought my answer through my dashboard. Tumblr is composed of a endless scroll, comparable to Facebook’s newsfeed, that displays every user you ‘follow”s posts that can consist of either a link, photo, video, mp3, or text file that can be organized by ‘tags’. Like Twitter, there is a give and take between control: you cannot control what users post, but you can control who you follow. You ultimately build up the queue of information displayed on your dashboard.

This rule of thumb on Tumblr already an issue in itself, as it’s not only necessary to have an account to view such information, but it also requires stock knowledge of which users promote social activism the most. Already in this way, Tumblr blacktivism is exclusive in the broader sense of the term.  However because I am an established user of 5 years, this constraint only appeared in my thoughts after my study.

Taking into account the formatting and style of the website (and the advantage of 5 years of knowledge), I began my study of 30 minutes scrolling down my dashboard sure that out of my selected 500 some users one would surely post something under the activism tree. After about a minute of scrolling I saw a linked post that described the new case of Ebola in Liberia as an STD. The random post was one centered on awareness, not truly giving a solution to a possible rebirth of the Ebola crisis. And for a while this was the only post I saw. Because Tumblr is composed as a live feed, the minutes I scrolled down the dashboard before I encountered another post for social justice felt like eons.

It wasn’t until I encountered a post by a rather prominent Tumblr user in both the black and activist circles that my research progressed. This individual posted a series of inforgraphics that described the various levels of Israeli settlement on Palestinian territory, the fraught Palestinian citizenship across Israel and Palestine, and general problematic restriction of Palestinian people. The post was significantly informative as most portrayals of Palestine capitalize on the destruction of the Gaza Strip rather than the conditions that provide for this kind of environment, and the surrounding oppressions widespread through out the country. I then opened up another tab in my web browser to later peruse the user’s account, sure of the rich content in store, simultaneously still looking for another possible user to study. Right underneath their post Micdotcom, an active news source, posted GIFs of Porsha Olayiwola’s  poem that criticizes the misogynoir latent in police brutality discourse and the general dismissal of the pain black women face at the hands of black men.

Having at least two users under my belt and just ten minutes left of study, I decided to quickly delve deeper into each site. The first user’s activism centered mostly on the personal: crowdfunding for a poor black transwoman, a black family nearing homelessness, and written text posts that criticize various tangents of their multiple jeopardies as a queer transman of color. The text posts all had a least a thousand ‘notes’, which consisted of either likes or ‘reblogs’ (when users repost the content to their blogs). Furthermore you could see a constant rapport developing on these text posts that pursued discourse or fermented friendships. On this given users page the queer community of color was strong and accounted for. Switching tabs to Micdotcom, the website served as a curated collection of black internet activism across platforms. Screenshots of tweets raising awareness against recent police brutalities (#JusticeforJason, #SayHerName to name a couple), gifs of award shows and videos, news clips, and original Tumblr user posts decorated the page. Micdotcom served as a hub of generalized activism rather than specific black communal activist space.

It is in this way that Tumblr both triumphs and fails as a platform for social change. On one hand the site is a space for endless possibilities that allow for news sources and user-created online ‘zines to provide a constant stream of information crucial for social justice. These carefully curated hubs of information are a great start for both users and visitors of Tumblr. One does not need membership to view or message the copious amount of blogs present on the site. However their existence does not necessitate the existence of black community on Tumblr, individual users do. One would need to follow both prominent and random bloggers in the black community on Tumblr. These bloggers, your chosen informants, brothers, and sisters dictate your involvement with blacktivism. They raise causes for “Black Tumblr” to rally against, to raise money for, or even formally petition against on “Change.org”. These bloggers can help you through your journey of understanding matrices of oppression in your daily life, as well as navigate questions of gender/sexual/racial identity through direct messages, text posts, photos and videos open for commentary…..provided that you follow them. In addition to this slight oversight black users cannot be streamlined in the fighting of antiblackness. Some users are a part of “Queer Tumblr” or “Transgender Tumblr”or the dreaded “Barbershop Tumblr” (a part of Tumblr which is characterized by pro-black homophobic misogynoiristic users). Various pockets of Tumblr wholesale ignore some oppressions, such as colorism, to maintain their privilege and membership to the black community simultaneously. Tumblr can be a place rife with the schisms that plague physical activist spaces.

Ethical issues aside, in this sort of research Tumblr even fails in organization. Like Twitter it employs the hashtag system to organize posts, in order to make searches easier for users and non-users, however unlike Twitter, these tags are hardly agreed upon and are used liberally. Users sometimes use the tag system to input their commentary to protect the aesthetic integrity of a post. This so-called ‘talking in the tags’ makes for a chaotic black hole of information that can only be retrieved if you search that particular blogger’s archive. Tumblr has the potential to be a mess of epic proportion.

Ultimately Tumblr as a space for cyber black activism continuously toes the line of innovation and chaos. The ample opportunity for commentary and grassroot movement give Tumblr the chance to make virtual spaces of social justice bleed into the real world. However this is constantly mired by the disorganization, petty squabbles between users, and randomization of posts that is present on the site.

Word Count: 1138

 

Tags: ,

35,127 Responses to “Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources”

  1. Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  2. preparare ceai alb

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  3. mancare la lingura

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  4. prediksi jitu taiwan

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  5. 광주마사지사이트

    blog topic

  6. Computer Headsets

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  7. private proxy servers

    I found a great…

  8. Want to setup your Amped wireless router? Open setup.ampedwireless.com or follow our easy do-follow steps for Amped wireless setup. setup.ampedwireless.com
    https://extender-ampedsetup.com/

  9. Honey Donkeymilk soap natural Donkeymilk soaps handmade natural soaps Handmade natural cosmetics best all donkeymilk natural soap paprika donkeymilk soap benefits best natural Donkeymilk soap Castor oil benefits natural donkeymilk face cream oatmeal…

    blog topic

  10. none; says:

    none;

    blog topic

  11. Welcome to VIP Hi-fi models escorts Gurgaon business, we are a popular profile, call girls in gurgaon. Our Escorts service in Gurgaon can give you so much enjoyment which no other escort can give you. We also have Russian escorts in Gurgaon the exclusive variety of these best class escorts to help you in better and best.

  12. ezelinnemelk cosmetica

    blog topic

  13. office furniture manufacture

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  14. free porn cam chat

    blog topic

  15. Trecerea care ne asteapta

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  16. ferienwohnung costa rei sardinien

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  17. free v bucks codes

    blog topic

  18. atinge esența divină

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  19. 먹튀검증 says:

    An impressive share! I hhave just forwarded this onto a friend who has been conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact bought mee breakfast because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending soime time to discuss this matterr here on your website.

  20. 광주 아로마 마사지

    Attention Required! | Cloudflare

  21. Natuurlijke & Biologische Cosmetica

    blog topic

  22. best identity theft protection reddit

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  23. This informative blog made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks
    orbilogin.com

  24. best 3 credit report monitoring

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  25. commercial truck insurance requirements

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  26. Your style presentation is so unique in comparison to people I have read stuff from. I appreciate the posting of such an informative blog.

  27. market says:

    market

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  28. cctv drain survey west bromwich

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  29. mywifiext says:

    Thanks for the amazing post

  30. nighthelper.com

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  31. where to buy edibles toronto

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  32. organic donkey milk soap online

    blog topic

  33. http://www.beverlyhillsmagazine.com

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  34. 과유불급 says:

    과유불급

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  35. Astrologer In Salem

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  36. commercial truck insurance owner operators

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  37. commercial truck insurance for new companies

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  38. ガガミラノ 時計 メンズ 人気

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  39. commercial truck insurance policy

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  40. disney must haves

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  41. Jamal Sejkora

    I found a great…

  42. Warner Corpus

    I found a great…

  43. бесплатные игры на ПК

    like water for chocolate » Blog Archive » Methodologies V: Using and Analyzing Digital Media Sources

  44. Valentine Bania

    I found a great…

  45. Deanna Gadberry

    I found a great…

  46. Lindsey Ocarroll

    I found a great…

  47. Norman Maywood

    I found a great…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *