Infiltrating Online Communities as an Interrogation of Space.

Space as a sanctioned zone. Who gets permission to enter, to speak and to silence. I decided to join online communities which were alien to me to see how these dynamics played out and to personally feel alienated and to feel whatever it was that came from being permitted into these spaces (when perhaps I actually had no right). The brief was not to participate but merely to observe.

To this end I attempted to gain admission to a radical Zionist group, a Queer meme group, a group for people who had lost children, a right wing Patriots Front-type group and more. Some groups were more relaxed about granting entry than others. Never engaging, I never tested my memberships.

The abiding feeling that came from this experiment was yuck. I either felt depressed after experiencing torrents of politically and/or morally reprehensible material or I felt like I was violating the space of those in more vulnerable positions than I.

Readings:

http://disturbeduniverse.com/?p=324

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/too-many-female-lawyers-in-one-facebook-group-can-only_us_577d424ee4b0ad1e7bff8cbe

 

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