Undermining Anarchy: Facebook's Influence on Anarchist Principles of Organization in Occupy Wall Street

Thomas Swann, Emil Husted

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Drawing on concepts rooted in cybernetics and anarchist political theory, this article argues that the shift in Occupy Wall Street from being a physical protest camp in late 2011 to an online movement in 2012 coincided with a shift in social media activity. Analysis of Facebook activity suggests a move from functional to anatomical hierarchy and a corresponding move from many-to-many communication to one-to-many communication. In conclusion, we argue that this development served to undermine the movement's anarchist principles of organization.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Information Society
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)192-204
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Anarchism
  • Communication
  • Cybernetics
  • Facebook
  • Hierarchy
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • Social media
  • Social movements

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