By Ned Rossiter and Soenke Zehle
The widespread adoption by users of social network media has increasingly rendered the border between life and labor indistinct. The human soul has been put to work, formatting its informatic expression in clouds without freedom.1 Some of the most radical political events witnessed over the past few years – the Arab Spring, the European Austerity Protests and the Occupy movements – have been notable in their choice of commercial social media services such as Facebook and Twitter to facilitate techniques of organization. How these political mobilizations sustain themselves over time remains an open question, but one that nevertheless requires concepts and models of organization to take into account the politics of code. Beyond a political economy of user-as-product approaches, we contend that it is the figure of anonymity that most effectively identifies the stakes of a new protocol politics. The question of anonymity is at the heart of an emergent politics of information governance, addressing the role of protocols, policies and practices in systems of networking.
- See Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy, trans. Francesca Cadel and Giuseppina Mecchia, Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2009. ↩