Social media offer new ways to break through alienation. Through social media, individuals can align themselves with people they would not have otherwise known, and this creates a new political possibility—and a useful space for postcolonial intervention. A more pressing critique of the use of social media for political goals, however, focuses on their co-optation by the state and their use by the private corporations that produce social media platforms to gather data about users.
The co-optation of activist social media platforms also extends beyond the state. In other instances, people have deliberately released misinformation on social media about unfolding events.
Given that much postcolonial critique relies on the idea that colonial knowledge is a form of misinformation, postcolonial critics could make a useful contribution to the discussion of social media by offering a more complex reading of misinformation and its political purposes. Ultimately, social media have created not revolutions but a political space for different communities to be imagined into existence. Postcolonialism has complicated our understandings of the relationship of domination and control between colonizer and colonized.
Postcolonial studies has much to contribute to our understanding of digital knowledge hierarchies and networks. As faculty members, our audience is a younger generation that has grown up in a world where the Internet and other forms of networked communication have always existed. Our goals should be to shift our energies to the digital sphere, to raise questions about the unconscious assumptions of these digital platforms, to produce content that subverts the colonial library, and to educate others about contributing to knowledge in the networked public sphere.
Adeline Koh is an associate professor at Stockton University, an independent web designer, and the founder of a skin-care product company, Sabbatical Beauty. She is passionate about teaching, web design, technology, and the darker side of tech: inequality and oppression.
Her e-mail address is adeline. We welcome your comments. See our commenting policy.
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A Return to Marx Perhaps the question with which this article began—can social media cause revolutions? Postcolonial Studies and Social Media Ultimately, social media have created not revolutions but a political space for different communities to be imagined into existence.
Add new comment We welcome your comments. Your name. Ottomanization was now not merely imagined , but real.
Reaching and grasping gestures towards imagined objects exhibit the distinctive pattern that is observed when subjects are asked to pantomime a reaching and grasping motion. The point of contention is the imagined relationship between visitors and the museums. In contrast to the classical norm, they become more than they had imagined.
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These lyrics resemble a commonly imagined scenario of teenage girls and groupies waiting to meet their idols. For an audience who imagined the very insiderness of this show to be a privilege, the outsiderness of the lyrics heightened the glow. It might be imagined that explicit disincentives could also be used to motivate workers.
Slavery is here imagined as occurring within the mind, as lack of independence from a particular idea or way of thinking. Rather, a frequency-dependent build-up triggering mechanisms could be imagined. Various scenarios leading to this situation can be imagined.
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