When Protests go Virtual: How Organizing Social Protest in Virtual Worlds Changes the Nature of Organizing
In this paper, we introduce a case study of social protest that has occurred in the virtual world Second Life. This case is a labor strike that occurred against IBM by Italian employees and a large European labor union. We begin with identifying the four key elements in the protest organizing process: Identifying Supporters, Organizing and Establishing Hierarchy, Getting the Word Out, and Building Solidarity/Establishing Social Networks. Next, we briefly examine how non-virtual technologies have changed the protest organizing process. Finally, we present our case data and illustrate how moving a protest to a fully virtual environment changes the organizing process. We conclude by asserting that three aspects fundamentally change protest organizing: entertainment, costs, and culture.
Blodgett, Bridget M. and Tapia, Andrea H., "When Protests go Virtual: How Organizing Social Protest in Virtual Worlds Changes the Nature of Organizing" (2010). AMCIS 2010 Proceedings. 553.