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Paul A. Taylor

Subject Politics
Communication Studies » Human Communication and Technology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


The simplest definition of hacktivism is that it represents the conjunction of technologically knowledgeable hacking techniques with the values and communicational strategies of political activism . Whilst hacking involves the imaginative and unorthodox use of computers and their systems, hacktivism is the application of those techniques in the pursuit of political agendas frequently associated with new globalized social movements (→  Technology and Globalization ). Behind these initial, relatively clear definitions, however, lie more ambiguous and less easily separated relationships between old-style hacking and its new applications. Hacktivism arose in the mid-1990s largely as an attempt to remedy hacking's innate political limitations that resulted from hackers’ over-identification with the technology. The advent of hacktivism coincided with the increasing number of new social movements seeking to engage with a politics of globalization in which material conditions on the ground in any one place are affected by immaterial, but nonetheless powerful, informational processes. It shares with its predecessor, hacking, an interest in the manipulation and exploration of technological systems. However, in contrast to hacking's tendency to enjoy these activities for their own sake, hacktivism translates a fixation upon technical means into a diverse range of technologically informed ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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