Zeynep Tufekci’s Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest is a timely examination of the recent digital era of public protest. Moving through her analyses of the social behaviors and technological design that shapes the outcome of these movements, Tufekci provides readers with conceptual tools to examine the efficacy of twenty-first century demonstrations, notes Maira Sutton, formerly a Global Policy Analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The book is not about dismissing digitally networked protest, however, but rather about providing an analysis of this recent history in order to make sense of its capabilities and limitations within broader social and political contexts, she writes for Democracy: A Journal of Ideas:
This is a story not only about technology but also about long-standing trends in culture, politics, and civics in many protest movements that converged with more recent technological affordances—the actions a given technology facilitates or makes possible. . . . This is a story of intertwined fragility and empowerment, of mass participation and rebellion, playing out in a political era characterized by mistrust, the failures of elites, and the weakened institutions of electoral democracy.