Here’s my latest peer-reviewed research article, called Tools Beyond Control: Social Media and the Work of Advocacy Organizations, which was published today by Social Media + Society. The article deals with privatized Internet governance and how it can affect the work of digital strategists at advocacy organizations. Here’s the abstract:
Advocacy organizations rely on social media services, such as Facebook and Twitter, to engage their supporters. These services increasingly influence how citizens and advocacy organizations engage politically online through the technical features and policies they choose to implement—a phenomenon that can sometimes disrupt the work of advocates. Interviews with digital strategists at several US advocacy organizations revealed low levels of awareness of this phenomenon, despite its potential impact on their work; substantial dependence on these services for advocacy work; and a shared sense of necessity to embrace these tools, despite their potential downsides. Implications for the scholarship and practice of Internet governance and digitally mediated advocacy are discussed.