Guerilla Techniques for Online Activism

FreeVoice has an interesting blog post up on using the Internet and web for online activism.

The Invisible Ghost Writer: Using this strategy the person who has the “dangerous” information will build an alliance with another prominent blogger or writer in another country. The collaborator will then publish his article as if he is the one writing it. Prior to that, the ghost writer will conduct an analysis of his collaborator’s writing style, and adjust his writing styles. The collaborator will also do some editing to make it looks convincing that he is the actual writer. The Ghost writer will sometimes collaborate with another person who writes in a different language he is unfamiliar with.
The Trojan Horse Writer: In this strategy the writer will pretend as if he is supporting the government or the respective individual but will slowly discredit himself or shooting himself on the foot, thus discrediting the individual he is supporting.  For an example the government may want to keep silent on a certain issue. However, the Trojan horse writer will continue to harp on an issue by defending it rigorously so that it will open more questions and scrutiny. The writers needs to be very delicate and not to be carried away with certain issues, as it may drives away readers who feels suspicious of his writing agenda.
The Multi-Platform Advocates: The champion of an agenda will use several delivery platforms concurrently to further support the points or assertion that he is making. The most popular support platforms that he can use are Wikipedia, Youtube and Flickr. For example he can ask a friend to write an article in Wikipedia and make a reference to that article. With respect to this he can actually use his actual name, but can make a reference to a source that is anonymous. When he is making a reference to a source he needs to do it concurrently with other bloggers so that he won’t be seen as the first person to make certain claims. Photographs and Youtube are important media to create satire and “poke fun” at politicians. It creates a lasting impression and people can remember it well. In Malaysia Today blog for example, photographs and youtube are being used by either the commentators or the bloggers to supplement the writing process.

The Invisible Ghost Writer: Using this strategy the person who has the “dangerous” information will build an alliance with another prominent blogger or writer in another country. The collaborator will then publish his article as if he is the one writing it. Prior to that, the ghost writer will conduct an analysis of his collaborator’s writing style, and adjust his writing styles. The collaborator will also do some editing to make it looks convincing that he is the actual writer. The Ghost writer will sometimes collaborate with another person who writes in a different language he is unfamiliar with.

The Trojan Horse Writer: In this strategy the writer will pretend as if he is supporting the government or the respective individual but will slowly discredit himself or shooting himself on the foot, thus discrediting the individual he is supporting.  For an example the government may want to keep silent on a certain issue. However, the Trojan horse writer will continue to harp on an issue by defending it rigorously so that it will open more questions and scrutiny. The writers needs to be very delicate and not to be carried away with certain issues, as it may drives away readers who feels suspicious of his writing agenda.

The Multi-Platform Advocates: The champion of an agenda will use several delivery platforms concurrently to further support the points or assertion that he is making. The most popular support platforms that he can use are Wikipedia, Youtube and Flickr. For example he can ask a friend to write an article in Wikipedia and make a reference to that article. With respect to this he can actually use his actual name, but can make a reference to a source that is anonymous. When he is making a reference to a source he needs to do it concurrently with other bloggers so that he won’t be seen as the first person to make certain claims. Photographs and Youtube are important media to create satire and “poke fun” at politicians. It creates a lasting impression and people can remember it well. In Malaysia Today blog for example, photographs and youtube are being used by either the commentators or the bloggers to supplement the writing process.

As the blog post notes,

Even you think you could protect yourself from government detection, the government could simply ban the access to the website or content indefinitely. Then all your efforts will be futile and useless. As such, you need to assume that one day the government will block access to your website. The most logical thing for you to do is to collect the emails of your readers.

From the experience of creating and running Groundviews, there is actually much more you can do if the website you create risks being shut down, blocked or hacked.

I’ll cover these in detail in a subsequent post.

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