Dijital aktivizm platformu change.org’da başarıya ulaşmış kampanyalara yönelik bir çalışma
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Dijital teknolojilerin küresel anlamda yaşamlarımıza egemen olması, tutum ve davranışlarımızı, iletişim biçimlerimizi, sosyal yaşantılarımızı derinden etkilemiş ve değiştirmiştir. Yaşamın içinde yer alan pek çok uygulama dijital ortamlarda yer alan sosyal platformlara taşınmıştır. Toplumu yönetenlerin bazı karar ve uygulamalarından hoşnut olmayan bireylerin, baskı gruplarının, lobilerin de yeni buluşma noktalarından biri artık dijital aktivist platformlardır. Bu çalışmada, en çok tercih edilen dijital aktivist platformlardan biri olan Change.org incelenmiş, sitede ilan edilen başarıya ulaşmış projelerin ilk 30 adedi çeşitli başlıklar altında değerlendirilmiştir. Değerlendirmede başlıklar arasında korelasyon aranmış, projeler arasındaki ilişkisellikler sorgulanmıştır. Araştırma sonuçlarını anlamlandıma sürecinde, sağlık ve çevre konulu kampanyaların başarıya ulaşma olasılığının diğerlerine göre daha yüksek olduğu, sağlık konulu projelerin daha çok imza topladığı, başarıya ulaşmış projelerin tamamının sosyal medyada yer alırken 18’inin geleneksel medyada da yer alması nedeniyle geleneksel ve sosyal medyaların birbirini desteklediği, sosyal medyadaki sayısal çoğunluğun geleneksel medya üzerinde baskı yaratabildiği sonuçlarına varılmıştır.New media technologies and social networks builds networks of meanings among the different citizen groups of civil society in terms of civil society being organized and making their voices heard as something vitally important in democratization. As we witnessed in many life practices with digital communication technologies reigning over our lives, activism works started to use digital platforms, too. Online activism is defined as usage of internet communication technologies for various forms of activism (Sert, 2012:129). And digital activism according to Uçkan is a general name given to the internet usage of different activism forms (2012). With activism becoming digitalized, individuals thinking that they have performed their social responsibilities with one click are criticized by some. As a response to these criticisms, Change.org campaign expert Paktin argues that digital activism does not change the world with two clicks but it strengthens the idea that the world is changeable with each click (2013). In this study, Change.org, one of the most preferred digital activist platforms with 125 million users globally is analyzed. The analysis covers the first 30 projects in the list of successful projects announced between the dates of November 2nd - December 2nd 2015 on Change.org. The sample is limited to Change.org, that has the most widespread working area in a global level. The aforementioned 30 projects are evaluated under the titles of subject, success time, signature count, campaign initiator, campaign collocutor, whether the campaign was on traditional and social media, whether the campaign subject was discussed at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The evaluation includes that whether there is a correlation between these sections or not and aims to form a success index. Change.org is examined deeply using the method of descriptive analysis and the numerical data received is tabulated using the content analyzing technique. The purpose of the study is to make it easier for us to understand the effects of digital communication technologies on forms of social organizing. The importance of the study is based on showing that digital communication technologies transform our lives and how alternative views which have a hard time to be voiced through traditional media can get organized thanks to these technologies, as well as examining the common traits or differences of the successful projects. The activist platform that is the subject of the study is being examined in context of studies of Harold Innis (2006), who voices that communication technology is a representative of political and economic process, that ‘information moguls’ determined by technology direct the split of political power between society’s groups (Irge, 2012: 67) and that deprived groups in the society lead the technological advances to gain power. In order according to the number of projects, subject titles are as 6 about health, 5 about environment, 4 about animal rights, 4 about education, 3 about women’s rights, 2 about entertainment and 6 projects as others taking place under different subject titles. Throughout the tables, it is seen that the projects about health succeeded the most and the projects with a higher count of signatures have appeared in both traditional and social media as a news event. The projects with a higher signature count were subject to the discussions in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The reason of this can be thought as both the signature count being high and various ministries being chosen as addressee. Also, it is seen that the projects about health could collect many more signatures. On social activism sites such as Change.org, besides the signature count being important as an oppression element, the addressee of the project and the project being published in all media choices are also effective elements for success. All projects about environment appeared in both traditional and social media, and were started by individuals. None of the four projects about animal rights were discussed at the Assembly. Among the four projects about education, the project with the most signature count is addressed to YÖK, concerning a great number of students. It is seen that the succeeded campaigns about Women’s Rights and Human Rights did so in a very short time. It is remarkable that all three projects about women’s rights are about television programs, and were initiated by women. Especially the private firms produced a solution in a short time for the projects initiated on Change.org. In our times, it is impossible for companies that don’t heed the social media to succeed. Manufacturers and distributers of digital technologies that allow expansionist policies, form information moguls and make the countries that they sell these technologies to, dependent on them. Sovereign powers who control information moguls, also have the power to inspect, and stop if necessary, the institutions that perform research and development besides themselves. Communication technologies may not be the only identifiers of social transforming as Innis has defended but it’s a fact that they have an important role in this transformation. Alternative opinions that could not make their voices heard via traditional media, can get together, form groups, organize quickly and take action thanks to interactive internet systems. Activities of organizations like Change.org must be evaluated in this context. Another advantage of the campaigns is to make important subjects that get overlooked or fall from our agendas because of the daily bombardment of information, stay in the agenda. Sites that activist actions are carried out on, are significant platforms in terms of helping people about the problems they have, giving them a chance to show their sensitivity about specific subjects, create alternative solutions, make their voices heard by the authorities and get the support of other people that think and feel just like themselves. In terms of catching the attention of politic authority that has the legislative power, about certain subjects, and conducing toward getting desirable results, sites as Change.org can be an important lobbying tool. It must be expected that we would face more of different formations in the future due to new media technologies that are still thought to be in the infancy period.