Social media use by civil proindependence groups in Catalonia Kathryn Crameri Catalans’ preferred relationship with Spain 60 50 40 Independent State Federal State 30 Autonomous Community Region 20 Don't Know No answer 10 Oct-13 Jun-13 Feb-13 Oct-12 Jun-12 Feb-12 Oct-11 Jun-11 Feb-11 Oct-10 Jun-10 Feb-10 Oct-09 Jun-09 Feb-09 Oct-08 Jun-08 Feb-08 Oct-07 Jun-07 Feb-07 Oct-06 Jun-06 Feb-06 Oct-05 Jun-05 0 Data taken from the Centre d’Estudis d’Opinió, Baròmetre d’opinió política (‘Barometer of Political Opinion’), (Generalitat de Catalunya, 2005-13) Civil Society • • • • Disillusionment with party politics Desire for voice/agency Key role of emotion/affect Growth of civil organisations – E.g. Assemblea Nacional Catalana which organised 11 Sept demonstrations in 2012 & 13 (‘Via catalana’) • Crucial role of internet activism/social media Examples • Barcelona, 10 July 2010: ‘The world’s first Demonstration 2.0’ • Twitter: #TotsSomAssembleaNC • Pro-independence ARA newspaper: innovative multiplatform environment A hypothesis and some questions: • Hypothesis: the Catalan independence movement would not have captured the huge numbers of diverse supporters it has in such a short space of time without social media, even if the ‘drivers’ for independence had been exactly the same. (Cf. Manuel Castells ‘The development of communication technologies can be understood as the gradual decoupling of contiguity and time-sharing.’ Communication Power (Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 34. Questions: • How has social media aided the following?: – Organisation of events – Dissemination of information – Creation of activist networks/coalitions – ‘Five-minute activism’ – National and international exposure for the cause – Creation of a sense of community of like-minded people (‘tipping point’/building trust) – Keeping people passionate about the cause i.e. how does it reduce the costs of participation while increasing the benefits?