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From social media and grassroots movements to Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for building global community: Entropy and organization on the Internet

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Alexios Brailas, Christina Gkini, Maria Koletsi, Georgios Vagias, Stella Barmpati, Dimitris Karras

Abstract


Starting from the grassroots movements and the Arabic spring we examine the utopic views of social media as they emerged at the dawn of the 21st century. Inspired by Umberto Eco’s dystopic notion of an army of idiots we analyze the techno-social dynamics of trumpism, Brexit and the global raise of extremist voices on social media over the past decade. How these phenomena relate to the techno-social complexity of the modern world? Is Trump’s successful presidential campaign related to social media dynamics, and to an army of idiots that emerged due to this dynamics? How specific social media affordances, like spreadability, searchability, anonymity, pseudonymity and echo chambers contribute to the emergence of a brand new, complex and unpredictable, social landscape? To address these questions, we take into consideration the last Mark Zuckerberg’s manifest Building Global Community (published on February, 2017) and we argue on how Logos-driven, virtual communities can play a critical role in an era of liquid reality, destabilization and unpredictability.

Keywords


grassroots; trumpism; Brexit; army of idiots; building global community; entropy; complexity, self-organization; negentropy; echo chambers

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Copyright (c) 2018 Alexios Brailas, Christina Gkini, Maria Koletsi, Georgios Vagias, Stella Barmpati, Dimitris Karras

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