1 Four critiques of social media
Outlined in Anarchist Cybernetics:
1.1 privacy and the collection of data from users
1.2 political economy
Approaching the critique of social media with this type of political economic analysis in mind also serves to draw attention to the material aspects of digital media. Fuchs (2014: 119–20) highlights the manual labour that goes into mining the minerals required for producing the physical devices used to access digital media, such as smartphones and tablet computers, as well as the conditions of labour in the factories assembling these devices. The material economic cost to human beings, in places like China and the Democratic Republic of Congo, of making digital media possible ought also to be taken into consideration when discussing the appropriateness of social media platforms for anarchist and radical organising. This is especially true if such organising is framed in terms of prefigurative politics. Can action aimed at bringing relationships of solidarity and mutual aid into being be based on such dire and exploitative working conditions?