facebook and p2p activism

i just added the ultimatums app into my facebook profile and i do believe it is the best application so far for activism on the social network.

its the fb extension of the thepoint.com and works like this: an individual creates a campaign/action stating we will do X if Y amount of people will do the same. so when a particular critical mass (tipping point) of people sign on a notice goes out reminding people of their commitment.

possibilities include:

End Facebook's allowance of Marketing through Beacon. If 1,000 people join we will boycott the facebook.


Force facebook to make it easier to leave facebook. if 20 people sign on, we will stage a sit-in at fb headquarters.


Raise $$'s to give facebook to starving children. If 500,000 thousand people join, we will each give one dollar to the Facebook for starving children fund.

Of course the app doesn't have to be used for facebook issues but anything you like (and there are really silly ones but also good ones like a call to boycott a hotel if it doesn't meet the unions demands).

I really think this is a step above the causes app which is only good for peer to peer fundraising and notices (awareness raising). This app actually creates objectives and allows for planning actions and so nicely encompasses several facets of peer to peer democracy, including p2p organizing, p2p agitation, and fundraising. And its scalable. It could be used to find out if a critical mass is there for a campus protest (20 people?) or if its there for boycotting a large corporation (100,000 people?). And then act upon it. In the boycott example it is also an easy way to prove how many people are involved. What I'm most excited about is seeing how people might use it to organize novel actions. The best one I've seen there (and it was only released yesterday) is Studend Discount for BART which works like this:

Goal: BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) must offer a student discount rate for cross-bay travel
Or Else: We will buy tickets using only nickels to shut down downtown berkeley station if 1,000 people join

however, by and large, activism on fb is still probally best practiced through user to user communication and through groups. hopefully some more applications will come out that facilitate organizing though

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