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Scientific articles

The ZLOvenija Phenomenon: A Tension Between Digital Activism and Network Individualism

The contribution analyses the Slovenian phenomenon called “ZLOvenia” (i.e. “EVILenia”), which was created as an online hub that gathered intolerant and violent comments from Facebook users. The collected statements, which Facebook users published on their profiles, were targeting immigrants. This kind of intervention offers several analytical focuses. In this article, it is approached as an example of digital activism, as it reflects the motives, forms and effects of civil engagement in digital culture, addressing also some tensions and paradoxes of network activism. Based on the theories of the social aspects of social networks and their role in the expansion of social and political engagement, the article exposes the problem of network individualism and egocentric audiences that might appear within the context of extreme or polarised opinions, and the distinction between (non)anonymous posts published on online profiles (but wrongly perceived as a “private sphere of friends”), and the public performance of social identities in the same networks. By analysing “EVILenia” as an ethnographic case study of public intervention, and combining the findings based on a structured in-depth interview with the initiator of the portal, attention is drawn to its three levels, namely to its technical matrix as an infrastructure, the choices and aims of the producers, and user practices and responses to them, with an aim to point to the very ambivalent relationships within this example of digital activism.


Article inside journal

Issue No. 268 - Hate Speech
Časopis za kritiko znanosti
2017 , volume volume 45 , issue issue 268
5,00 € each (incl. tax - DDV)
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