Social media activism in Maldives; Information practices and civil society

Information Research
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Information Research: an international electronic journal, 2017, 22 (1)
Issue Date:
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Introduction. The study was designed to explore the information practices of a group of human rights activists in a campaign seeking to pressure the police service and government into investigating the disappearance of a journalist in the context of transnational advocacy networking. Method. The social media associated with a campaign in Maldives, Find Moyameehaa, were the basis for the case study. Tweets and Facebook posts and comments from the first 100 days of the campaign and from the 500th day were downloaded; the website was analysed. Analysis. Content analysis of tweets, posts and comments was carried out using a priori coding. Results. The tactics of transnational advocacy networking proposed by Keck and Sikkink were apparent in the campaign, however the everyday focus of the posts showed this to be a campaign of local concern. A second potential purpose for the campaign emerged, the modelling of civil engagement in a fledgling democracy. Conclusions. The information practices approach, emphasising continuity and habitualisation following Savolainen, brings additional perspectives to understanding social media activism, showing how it can represent the behaviour of civil society and create an archive of a campaign and emphasising the importance of social and cultural factors.
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