Long, but very worth a read. An in depth examination of why comparisons to the civil rights movement really don’t have calls for current social media activism, especially with “high risk” activism.
One of the things I took away from this is the usefulness of “strong-tie” networks, that is people you actually know in person. I mean, I knew that most of my facebook, twitter, and online (only) friends would count as weak tie friends, or what we used to call acquaintances. Now not all of them are, but most would count as such. As such it’s clear that social media is built around weak ties, as it helps them monetize you better (to be cynical), or at least it offers “rewards” for keeping over-large sets of connections.
The take away is that social media activism helps with status quo issues. If that’s enough for you, great. But for activism that changes the world, you need strong ties, and those only seem to come from centralized, organized institutions and movements.