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LiveDissent: A Media Platform for Remote Participation in Activist Demonstrations

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Association for Computing Machinery


Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have become a critical tools for the coordination of activist movements and demonstrations. Additionally, live streaming platforms like Periscope have started to emerge as modalities for reporting on and remotely experiencing activist activities. In this design fiction, we present LiveDissent, a fictional media platform that leverages both established and emerging technologies to support remote participation in activist demonstrations. These technologies include mobile live streaming, telepresence robots, unmanned aerial vehicles, and digitally augmented picket signs. LiveDissent brings these technologies together into an aggregated platform for remotely watching and participating in demonstrations. We discuss a planned in the wild study at an upcoming demonstration, through which we will explore the design and implications of social media and telepresence for participation in activism. Finally, our authors' statement connects to related prior work and explores potential research and ethics questions.


Hamilton, William A.; Lupfer, Nic; Kerne, Andruid (2018): LiveDissent: A Media Platform for Remote Participation in Activist Demonstrations. Proceedings of the 2018 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work. DOI: 10.1145/3148330.3149406. Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 257–266. Sanibel Island, Florida, USA