… My heart’s in Accra Ethan Zuckerman’s online home, since 2003

March 8, 2008

The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech

I’d forgotten just how much fun ETech is. Not only are the talks some of the most creative and innovative you can hear in the tech community, the room full of people is one of the most congenial, smart and funny you’re likely to encounter anywhere. Tim O’Reilly won’t come out and say that it’s his favorite conference, but he’s willing to declare it the most important that his organization puts on.

I was only able to be in San Diego for one of the days of the conference – long enough to catch several excellent talks, but briefly enough that I’m relying on Ryan Singel of Wired to catch talks that I’m very sorry to miss: Larry Lessig’s plans to change congress; Quinn Norton, who’s now thinking about hacking her brain as well as her body; Joel Selanikio’s celebration of the mobile phone as a tool for transforming Africa.

Singel did an excellent job with my talk as well, The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. I was grateful to have the excuse to explore at more length some of the ideas I’ve been writing about for the past year, and was gratified that the talk was well received. There were several requests for me to post the slides – that’s not really realistic, as they were 100MB and rather video-rich – what I’m going to do instead is post my notes, a bunch of links and a few of the slides. This won’t be an accurate picture of what I said – it’s more likely to be a picture of what I meant to say.


Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research papers.

Web 2.0 was created to allow people to share pictures of cute cats.

I had a front-row seat for this transition, working with Tripod. We sincerely believed that the purpose of the web was to give college graduates helpful information about renting apartments, applying for jobs and investing their money. Our users rapidly told us that what the web was really about was publishing their own information… which left us with the difficult challenge of figuring out how to make money off of people’s collections of cat pictures.

User-generated content, on average, is a lot less interesting than professional content. But there are a lot more people creating their own content for fun than those doing so for a living, and in aggregate, that content is at least as interesting.

Based on my Tripod experience, I’d offer the hypothesis that any sufficiently advanced read/write technology will get used for two purposes: pornography and activism. Porn is a weak test for the success of participatory media – it’s like tapping a mike and asking, “Is it on?” If you’re not getting porn in your system, it doesn’t work. Activism is a stronger test – if activists are using your tools, it’s a pretty good indication that your tools are useful and usable.

In late 1996, we noticed that Tripod was receiving a great deal of traffic from Malaysia. Searching through the server logs, we found lots of pages in Bahasa Malay talking about “Reformasi” and “Anwar Ibrahim”. I had to visit the Political Science department at Williams College to figure out that we were apparently hosting much of the Malaysian opposition political movement, dedicated to helping deposed and imprisoned deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim return to power. Malaysian media was largely closed to opposition voices, but investment in internet infrastructure meant that the opposition was able to access the internet and publish material that couldn’t be disseminated any other way. (Several of these pages still exist on Tripod.)

A more economically rational company would have likely removed the Malaysian content, as we had no way of selling ads to Malaysian advertisers. Economic rationality was never Tripod’s strong suit, and we ended up sponsoring Malaysia’s olympic team instead. (They took the silver in Men’s team badminton.)

With web 2.0, we’ve embarced the idea that people are going to share pictures of their cats, and now we build sophisticated tools to make that easier to do. as a result, we’re creating a wealth of tech that’s extremely helpful for activists. There are twin revolutions going on – the ease of creating content and the ease of sharing it with local and global audiences.

There’s been understandable excitement about use of online video by the Obama campaign. I was in Doha, Qatar, when Larry Lessig showed the above video as an example of the way that remix culture could reinvigorate American political culture. Others have pointed to the video as an example of “user-generated swiftboating“, and the potential for amateur nastiness to be even more evil than our debased professional political culture.

I was sitting next to Tunisian activist Sami ben Gharbia at the meeting in Doha, and he nudged me, saying, “We did this years ago in Tunisia.” I thought he meant the idea of using video to motivate voters. Actually, he meant that Tunisian activists – specifically a friend of his who works under the name “Astrubal” had remixed the 1984 Apple ad for political ends. (See my post “Democrats Invent the Remix, only three years after the Tunisians” for more on this story.)

In the Tunisian video, the guy on the screen is Ben Ali, a major opponent of free speech and a long-serving dictator. No matter how negatively you feel about Hillary, he’s a more Orwellian figure, in part because he’s so skilled at PR. Tunisia is more repressive than many of its Middle Eastern neighbors, but it enjoys widespread tourism and was selected – absurdly – to host the World Summit on the Information Society conference in November 2005. (For more on this absurdity, you may want to refer to my posts from WSIS, perhaps starting with this one.) Because Ben Ali is so good at PR, Sami, Astrubal and others see themselves as an ad agency, making videos designed to embarass the government on an international scale.One of the most amazing of these videos features the peregrinations of the Tunisian presidential aircraft. You wouldn’t expect to see this jet in Europe very often, as Ben Ali is famous for rarely leaving the country. But Sami and Astrubal used planespotter sites – sites like Airliners.net that allow amateur plane enthusiasts to post their photos – to determine that the President’s jet travels a whole lot more than he does. They He used footage from Google Earth and pictures from the plane spotter sites to make a video that shows the power of the participatory web at its best. (Sami has asked me to make it clear that the Tunisian flight video was solely Astrubal’s work – his function was solely to publicize it, on his blog and in talks given about online activism.)

Their video raises all sorts of ethical questions – is it permissable for the country’s first lady to take the Presidential jet, fueled and crewed on taxpayer dollars, for shopping junkets in Europe? Foreign Policy magazine didn’t think so, and ran an article critiquing the first lady. They also published instructions on how you, too, can become a presidential planespotter.

Sami and Astrubal posted the video on their personal blogs… but as known activists, their blogs have been blocked in Tunisia for years. They also posted it on DailyMotion, a video site popular in the French-speaking world. Shortly after, the Tunisian government blocked access to DailyMotion.

This is a good thing if you’re an activist. Most Tunisians don’t identify as activists and might not be engaged with politics. But, like Americans and Europeans, they’re interested in seeing cute cats being adorable online. When the government blocks DailyMotion, it impacts a much wider swath of Tunisians than those who are politicially active. Cute cats are collateral damage when governments block sites. And even those who could care less about presidential shenanigans are made aware that their government fears online speech so much that they’re willing to censor the millions of banal videos on DailyMotion to block a few political ones.

Blocking banal content on the internet is a self-defeating proposition. It teaches people how to become dissidents – they learn to find and use anonymous proxies, which happens to be a key first step in learning how to blog anonymously. Every time you force a government to block a web 2.0 site – cutting off people’s access to cute cats – you spend political capital. Our job as online advocates is to raise that cost of censorship as high as possible.

So why don’t governments block only he offensive speech? Why would governments be stupid enough to close off these tools entirely? It’s a reasonable question and one that’s an active research topic. One answer is that it’s surprisingly difficult to censor the web well. (Pakistan’s recent shutdown of YouTube shows one remarkably stupid and dangerous way to screw up and overblock web traffic.)

If you want to prevent your users from accessing online content, you’ve got four basic options. You can block keywords, block URLs, pollute your DNS or block IPs. It’s surprisingly hard to block keywords – you need to open and examine all the packets crossing your network. China does a bit of this, but mostly blocks keywords within URLs – it’s prohibitively expensive to examine every packet for an entire nation and check against a blocklist. URL blocking simply doesn’t work very well – it’s easy to rewrite a URL and access the same content. DNS blocking is very simple, but it tends to backfire – your smarter users simply switch towards using an unpolluted DNS and you have no way to control their behavior with this technique in the future. And so, most repressive governments block IPs, which limits access to banal as well as sensitive content.

But perhaps this isn’t stupidity on the part of nations. When Pakistan blocks YouTube, it limits traffic to the site. Google notices these sorts of things. Perhaps it’s coincidental that the video named by Pakistan has been removed from YouTube due to a terms of service violation – perhaps not. But while advocates try to raise the price of censorship for governments, smart governments are raising the price for noncompliance for Web 2.0 companies.

My colleagues at the Open Net Initiative began documenting net censorship a bit more than five years ago. At that point, Saudi Arabia and China were censoring widely. Now at least two dozen nations censor the net regularly, and more may be participating in “event-based filtering”, blocking access to political sites before a key election, for instance. My fear, in the medium to long term, is that every nation that constrains freedom of the press will begin filtering the net, realizing that the Internet is where important press takes place these days.

Of course, the activists win sometimes too. When Google Maps became accessible in Bahrain, it let Bahrani activists answer a pressing question in that small, crowded nation – who owns all the land? From the air, it becomes pretty clear that large chunks of the nation are reserved for palaces owned by the royal family.

An anonymous Bahrani activist thought this was pretty interesting, and made a PDF document of screen captures from Google Maps, enhanced with notes comparing crowded communities with spacious palaces. The document flew around the country from mailbox to mailbox. The Bahrani authorities couldn’t block the file – it’s a PDF, and blocking PDFs has nasty consequences for businesspeople. So they blocked Google Maps, which got bloggers like noted free speech advocate Mahmood Al-Youssif up in arms. After a brief block, they simply gave up and let citizens see the site, rather than letting Mahmood and others train people to use proxy sites. (More on this story is available on my blog.)

When governments really want to shut people up, they don’t just block them, they imprison them. Egypt has blocked very few websites – the Muslim Brotherhood site gets blocked occasionally, but most are uncensored. But they’ve jailed Kareem Soliman for his critical remarks about Islam, and they haven’t hesitated to arrest protesters seeking political reform.

This, in turn, has been known to backfire. When Kefaya activist and open-source proponent Alaa Abdel Fateh was one of 700 activists arrested at a protest supporting the independence of the Egyptian judiciary, it was hard for government authorities to know that they were about to have a PR crisis on their hands. Alaa began blogging from prison, passing notes to his wife, Manal, who jointly maintains their blog. These blog posts helped attract international attention to the case, which meant that camera crews from Al Jazeera and CNN covered a situation they normally would have ignored. It probably meant that Alaa spent much more time in jail than he otherwise would have, but it also may have meant that he was safer than if he’d been anonymous in prison.

(A piece of advice I offer at this point in many talks – if you’re planning on being an online activist, marry a blogger. It’s worked very well for me.)

The imprisonment of bloggers has taught activists some interesting lessons about advocacy in the era of Web 2.0. When Global Voices China editor Hao Wu was arrested and detained in Beijing, I and other GV friends wanted to go online immediately and advocate for his release. But that’s not the right way to do things – you’ve got to get permission from the detained person’s family first. And it took Rebecca MacKinnon a month of phonecalls to get his sister, Nina Wu, to agree to let us advocate on Hao’s behalf.

More importantly, Nina began blogging herself. Unsurprisingly, she knew a lot more about her brother than we did, and she wrote much more movingly than we could. Eventually, our campaign focused on translating her posts from Chinese to English and disseminating them as widely as possible. My conclusion from this: good advice for the advocate in a web 2.0 age – “Don’t speak. Point.” (Bruno Giussani explains what I mean by that phrase far more eloquently than I ever have.)

Nina wasn’t a professional activist. She was a successful career woman, a young mother, living the Chinese dream in Shanghai. She became an activist because she was forced to and she reached out for the tools she had access to – which hapened to be MSN spaces. MSN is heavily censored in China – it’s certainly not what we would have chosen for her. But you don’t get to choose the tools – activists use what’s at hand. It’s fine to build tools for activists, but even better to build tools for folks who don’t know they’re activists yet.

(In making this point, I should be very, very careful to point out that I have deep respect for tools that have been developed successfully for activist uses, tools like Martus or FrontlineSMS. My point is simply that there are huge numbers of web users who don’t yet think of themselves as activists who are likely to reach for the tools they have at hand, not to look specifically for tools designed for activists.)

Most activists discover they’re much more effective out of jail. It’s possible that bulk SMS tools – especially Twitter – might be useful in keeping activists out of jail. Alaa now uses Twitter to report on his political activities – this gives friends watching his feed the possibility of relauching the FreeAlaa site, should we see his note that he’s going in to talk to the police, and there’s no message letting us know he’s out of the police station afterwards. (Alaa tells me that tons of people are now subscribing to his Twitter feed and that they should back off because it’s a very boring time right now in Egyptian politics… :-)

Kefaya activists were able to use mobile phone messages, some sent through Twitter, to alert activists to the impending arrest of Malek Moustafa. As activist came to the place where Moustafa was being taken into custody, they attracted a huge crowd of police, who effectively blocked the street and prevented the police car with Moustafa from leaving the street. He was eventually released. Corresponding with Alaa about the situation, he raises questions of whether this was really a victory for Twitter – this is something Egyptian activists have done with SMS for a long time. Twitter may simply be useful in confusing Egyptian authorities, who might choose to block local SMS in a crisis, but might not consider blocking an international SMS number.

Twitter is also becoming more useful in crisis reporting. Viktor Markovic used a Twitter feed to report live on events in Belgrade after Kosovo declared independence; Juliana Rotich has used her feed to report live from Eldoret during post-election violence. And mobile phones are allowing people to report incidents in Kenya and include them within the map on Ushahidi.

Twitter is far from the perfect tool – it’s centralized and easily blocked. But it’s also used for lots of dumb purposes, which means it passes the cute cats test. Lots of the tools that have become most useful to activists have characteristics that un-recommend them for activist uses. Facebook, which has helped organize major protests against the FARC in Colombia, is notoriously bad about letting users pull data out of the system. Imran Jamal spoke about the challenge of trying to move a community of 400,000 users from Facebook to Avaaz, so they could fundraise more easily. (See “Pros and Cons of Facebook Activist“.) One challenge for activists using Web2.0 tools is figuring out when it’s time to get real and get onto dedicated platforms.

What happens when governments begin taking Web2.0 activism seriously? A funny example comes from Belarus. Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko noticed that YouTube was beginning to carry a wealth of anti-Lukashenko content, and suggested the Belarussian government might build it’s own YouTube competitor. Belarussian bloggers went one better and built LuNet, a set of parody sites designed to represent a Lukashenko-compliant read/write web. Perhaps the best of the sites was a Google parody – most searches resulted in a page telling you that the KGB was on lunch break and asking you to try again later when they could watch what you were doing. (See Global Voices Advocacy coverage of the story.)

More competent regimes have managed to exert significantly more control. China filters the internet more effectively than any other nation, using a combination of keyword filters, IP blocks and some DNS fiddling. The system is extremely complicated, involving filtering at a national boundary level and throughout the network, with some blocking taking place deep within the national network. China uses some techniques not widely seen elsewhere, including sending RSET packets when certain keywords are detected to knock users offline.

But that’s not the sinister part. Effective as the Great Firewall may be (and, actually, it’s not that effective – lots of dissidents get around it using various proxy techniques), the most relevant Chinese censorship takes place within Chinese Web 2.0 companies – including US companies operating servers in China. There’s an incredible wealth of Web 2.0 startups in China. These companies allow Chinese users to share video, post photos and write blogs. They’re much more useful to the average Chinese user as the tools and content are in Chinese, not English. And, unlike most popular web 2.0 tools, they’re not blocked in China.

And they’ve got censorship baked in. The above image is from research conducted by my colleage Rebecca MacKinnon. She discovered that MSN Spaces, Microsoft’s Chinese-localized and Chinese-hosted service prevented her from putting the terms “democracy” or “human rights” in the title of her blog. According to a report published by RSF, the heads of web companies meet weekly with censors who instruct them on what keywords to block, allowing the system to be extremely flexible and adaptable.

Some Chinese bloggers have responded by being extremely creative in their use of images. Some Chinese bloggers began posting images of river crabs on their blogs. The joke is that the term for “river crab” sounds very similar to the word “harmonize”, a term that had become slang for “censored” – “My blog just got harmonized.” The term “harmonized” became so popular that it became blocked. So Chinese bloggers began to refer to their blogs as having been “river crabbed”. The watches are a pun on “the three represents“, a political philosophy put forward by Jiang Zemin. This is also a commonly blocked term, so has been rewritten as “wears three watches”… which explains the oddly dressed river crab.

Here’s the thing – for the vast majority of Chinese internet users, they’re encountering a much more free information environment than their parents experienced. Michael Anti argues that Chinese society is much freer than the US in terms of personal behavior, especially around premarital sex and homosexuality. The vast majority of young Chinese are enjoying these personal freedoms and are willing to accept a world in which political freedom is somewhat constrained.

China’s censorship genius is that they’ve found a way to let people have their cute cats and have censorship as well. While China will block sites like Human Rights Watch, they won’t block domestic Web 2.0 sites, and hence the collateral damage from blocking banal content doesn’t draw non-activists to become aware of activist issues. Is this unique to China, or will we see this technique spread? It’s hard to imagine Ethiopia, for instance, being capable of building their own Amharic internet applications and blocking all Web 2.0 tools.

It’s also interesting to see what tools China won’t block. GMail, thus far, has remained unblocked – Anti theorizes that it’s popular with the communist party. Skype is unblocked, and it has some intriguing holes in it – Skype voice chatrooms are tailor-made to serve as pirate radio stations. Pipe a podcast into a chat room and you’re broadcasting audio via an encrypted system to users around the world. And China’s unlikely to block MMOGs, even if people periodically stand on hills inside games and shout out the IP addresses of proxy servers.

(Lots more on China and net censorship at “Cute Cat Theory: The China Corollary” and “Michael Anti and the end of the golden age of blogs in China“.)

It seems criminal to give a talk at the ancestral home of Lolgeeks and not talk about the brave and noble Lolcat. We did some informal research within the Global Voices community and discovered that, while our non-north American, non-European colleagues thought Lolcats were very funny, they simply didn’t exist within their own communities. (Trading funny pictures of animals was quite common, just not the leet-speak captioning.)

Our early attempts to propogate lolcats in other cultures have been largely unsuccessul. (That’s a lolcat by Rachel with our cat, Thorn, saying “Oh Hai”…) There’s a real challenge within the world of lolcats – making activism viral probably means making it funny as well as political and heart-wrenching. My single favorite comment on SUP’s acquisition of LiveJournal is a lolcat, which sums up the situation better than any angry post could have.

It’s typical to end these sorts of talks with a call to action, possibly a better one than “export lolcats to repressive nations”. If there’s a single message to the talk, it is that activists are going to use your tools if your tools are any good – watch them, pay attention to them, protect them and learn from them. They’ll make tour tools better, and they’re one of the reasons to make social software in the first place.

232 Comments

  1. […] This one post has put together a bunch of the best examples of online hacktivism and activism I have ever seen! The loose threads that were dangling in my head from all the Internet theory books I have been reading lately just all got nicely woven together! Thanks Mr. Zuckerman!The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech.Fantastic!  […]

    Pingback by serendipityoucity :: Best Education Piece of Online Activism :: March :: 2008 — March 8, 2008 @ 12:18 pm

  2. […] The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech I’d forgotten just how much fun ETech is. Not only are the talks some of the most creative and innovative you can hear in the tech community, the room full of people is one of the most congenial, smart and funny you’re likely to encounter anywhere. Tim O’Reilly won’t come out… […]

    Pingback by Closed captioning » The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech — March 8, 2008 @ 2:40 pm

  3. Oh, so there’ pr0n on twitter? Nerd porn maybe ;-)

    Seriously, taking your main observation that activists primarily never use special activist tools, I wonder if this doesnt also help them get the message across. At least it targets local groups – which imho are the ones directly affected by a scrupelous regime. In other words: if someone in Egypt or China is jailed for airing his thoughts – should we (in Europe or the US) be addressed in the first place or rather those local communities? Yeah, sure, everyone should be made aware of it, but I am just wondering about a follow-up and what’s best to create some pressure on a gov.

    Comment by JKE — March 8, 2008 @ 6:28 pm

  4. […] Ethan Zuckerman’s ETalk talk, which is worth reading in its entirety. addthis_url = […]

    Pingback by A Second Hand Conjecture » The Cute Cat Theory — March 8, 2008 @ 6:52 pm

  5. Fabulous post, Ethan.
    On: “So why don’t governments block only he offensive speech?”
    It appears that China’s blocks are evolving in that direction, at least according to this analysis of the Great Firewall of China by James Fallows:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200803/chinese-firewall

    “All of this adds a note of unpredictability to each attempt to get news from outside China. One day you go to the NPR site and cruise around with no problem. The next time, NPR happens to have done a feature on Tibet. The GFW immobilizes the site. If you try to refresh the page or click through to a new story, you’ll get nothing—and the time-out clock will start.

    This approach is considered a subtler and more refined form of censorship, since big foreign sites no longer need be blocked wholesale. In principle they’re in trouble only when they cover the wrong things. Xiao Qiang, an expert on Chinese media at the University of California at Berkeley journalism school, told me that the authorities have recently begun applying this kind of filtering in reverse. As Chinese-speaking people outside the country, perhaps academics or exiled dissidents, look for data on Chinese sites—say, public-health figures or news about a local protest—the GFW computers can monitor what they’re asking for and censor what they find. “

    Comment by BG — March 9, 2008 @ 7:33 am

  6. […] Ethan Zuckerman » The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech (tags: internet porn web2.0 activism article etech) […]

    Pingback by Pensievin’ » links for 2008-03-09 — March 9, 2008 @ 10:17 am

  7. Great post, I wish I could have heard your presentation live…

    (just a little spelling correction: the name of blogger Belgrade 2.0 is Viktor Markovic, not Veni Markovski)

    Comment by elia — March 10, 2008 @ 1:11 am

  8. […] In einem ausgezeichneten Post gibt GlobalVoices Gründer Ethan Zuckerman zahllose Beispiele für die Tätigkeiten von Onlineaktivisten weltweit u.a. Tunesien, Pakistan, Bahrain, China usw. […]

    Pingback by FreieNetze.de | Was Onlineaktivisten mit Katzen zu tun haben — March 10, 2008 @ 7:02 am

  9. […] read more | digg story […]

    Pingback by The Cute Cat Theory « Yaba Yaba — March 10, 2008 @ 7:10 am

  10. great stuff. I wish I could be there.

    two notes:
    1. I think FrontLineSMS have moved to http://www.frontlinesms.com/
    2. Thorn is saying “Ah Xai”. Oh hai would be aleph-vav hey-alef-yud

    Comment by Yishay Mor — March 10, 2008 @ 9:26 am

  11. […] Zuckerman has posted notes from his talk at ETech, a talk that was entitled The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. It’s a fascinating look at all aspects of activism online, from using Google Maps to track […]

    Pingback by Semantic Library » The Semantic Web and social change — March 10, 2008 @ 10:47 am

  12. Another great post, Ethan

    On the subject of FrontlineSMS, as you know it wasn’t developed specifically as an activist tool, but the activist community happens to be, it seems, the most active in seeking out and using these kinds of technologies. In my work I have the very problem you touch on – how to get ‘non-activists’ and grassroots NGOs (who are usually off the www radar) aware of the tools available to them, FrontlineSMS included.

    Comment by kiwanja — March 10, 2008 @ 5:40 pm

  13. I presume you’ve already seen this, but the Economist picked this up (without mentioning the cute cats) in a recent article on web censorship and mentioned you by name: http://www2.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10808424

    Comment by Can Sar — March 10, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

  14. […] a serious, if light-hearted, take on the use of web 2.0 technologies by political activists, and why it may not be such a bad […]

    Pingback by Camden Kiwi » Virtual Beachcombing — March 11, 2008 @ 2:28 pm

  15. […] Porn and activism […] any sufficiently advanced read/write technology will get used for two purposes: pornography and activism. Porn is a weak test for the success of participatory media – it’s like tapping a mike and asking, “Is it on?” If you’re not getting porn in your system, it doesn’t work. Activism is a stronger test – if activists are using your tools, it’s a pretty good indication that your tools are useful and usable.Ethan Zuckerman’s Etech talk on Digital Activism […]

    Pingback by Laurent Haug’s blog » Blog Archive » Porn and activism — March 12, 2008 @ 10:04 am

  16. […] The Cute Cat Theory, or “first comes the porn, then the activists” – this looks like the most interesting talk I missed so far this year, and the notes are really an essay that I won’t forget […]

    Pingback by Links 2008-03-12 « ScottRu — March 12, 2008 @ 4:28 pm

  17. […] The Cute Cat Theory Nice talk from Ethan Zuckerman from this year’s ETech (tags: etech presentation ethanzuckerman cats) […]

    Pingback by Martyn Davies » Blog Archive » links for 2008-03-13 — March 12, 2008 @ 9:24 pm

  18. […] …My heart’s in Accra » The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech – insanely long post that I barely read, but I agree with the points on cats, porn, and activism. […]

    Pingback by Puzzlepieces – …My heart’s in Accra » The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech (March 13, 2008) — March 13, 2008 @ 11:25 pm

  19. […] Posted March 14th @ 9:40 am by Martin Börjesson Laurent Haug quoted Ethan Zuckerman’s point which is really worth repeating in forecasting and futurist circles. Since I am, at least partly, finding myself backing a bit to my original turf of technology forecasting this is a good reminder of a rule of thumb that I actually used as an argument for the future success of the Internet in the mid 1990:s. “If you’re not getting porn in your system, it doesn’t work. Activism is a stronger test – if activists are using your tools, it’s a pretty good indication that your tools are useful and usable.” [From Ethan Zuckerman’s post …My heart’s in Accra » The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech] […]

    Pingback by Porn, activism and technology forecasting | futuramb blog — March 14, 2008 @ 4:40 am

  20. […] The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech […]

    Pingback by Blog@UOe-L » Blog Archive » The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech — March 14, 2008 @ 5:57 am

  21. The cute cat theory of online activism

    Ethan Zuckerman, who works at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Centre on Internet and Society, holds forth on how Web 2.0 has spurred online activism, and that’s what good for posters of porn and cute …

    Trackback by Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae — March 14, 2008 @ 3:16 pm

  22. […] Kevin Drum, well known for his Friday Cat Blogging, linked to an interesting blog post about online activism and cute cats, “The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism.” Describing the presentation offered at […]

    Pingback by Cute Cats Save the World « DilettanteVille — March 14, 2008 @ 11:21 pm

  23. […] I was led to Ethan Zuckerman’s notes on his Cat Theory Talk at ETech. Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research […]

    Pingback by * We’re not activists; give us our cute cats!, in TiKouka — March 15, 2008 @ 4:40 pm

  24. […] I was led to Ethan Zuckerman’s notes on his Cat Theory Talk at ETech. Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research […]

    Pingback by We’re not activists; give us our cute cats! — Groupings — March 15, 2008 @ 4:41 pm

  25. […] I was writing this entry, I came across this really interesting presentation by Ethan Zuckerman on “The Cute Cat theory of digital activism” that makes a similar […]

    Pingback by Connecting Bristol » Global Campaigning, Free Stuff and Cute Cats — March 17, 2008 @ 8:55 am

  26. […] is a really fascinating talk that was given at the recent ETech conference. One of the slides really caught my attention, and I […]

    Pingback by Tensegrities » Blog Archive » Cute cat theory of Web 2.0 — March 17, 2008 @ 12:21 pm

  27. […] Downes and Others … The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research […]

    Pingback by phaedrus » Blog Archive » The Cute Cat Theory — March 17, 2008 @ 2:51 pm

  28. […] ikke s sjokkerende at jeg falt for Ethan Zuckermans innfallsvinkel til web 2.0: Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research papers. Web 2.0 was created to allow […]

    Pingback by andedammen » The Cute Cat Theory — March 17, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

  29. […] gotten a great deal of feedback on my Cute Cats talk, which is very gratifying. It’s been a useful reminder that there’s a great deal of […]

    Pingback by …My heart’s in Accra » DigiActive documents digital activism — March 17, 2008 @ 4:44 pm

  30. […] [Via : The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech.] […]

    Pingback by Martus - a secure information management tool — Groupings — March 17, 2008 @ 5:58 pm

  31. […] friend Nathan over on Phaedrus pointed me to The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism, and that to DigiActive; all of which are related in my mind anyway, to the latest post over on the […]

    Pingback by Learning Aesthics » lolcats Again — March 18, 2008 @ 11:05 am

  32. […] Ethan Zuckerman observes, this kind of remix culture approach to campaigning has been called “user-generated […]

    Pingback by Ouch : Global Dashboard — March 19, 2008 @ 10:57 am

  33. […] McKeller’s tool, so we can produce LOLCats in Bangla (one of the tasks I suggested in my Cute Cat Theory talk) or whether it’s simply a proposal that we change the format of Global Voices to all […]

    Pingback by …My heart’s in Accra — March 20, 2008 @ 2:22 pm

  34. […] [Via : The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech.] […]

    Pingback by Text messaging for the non-profit sector — Groupings — March 22, 2008 @ 6:47 pm

  35. Great post Ethan,

    just wanted to say that Astrubal did the Tunisian presidential aircraft video (from gathering the images and information to publishing the video). I did nothing except talking about it :)

    Comment by sami — March 24, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

  36. […] of technology and culture. [ Note: You can see Ethan Zuckerman’s full presentation at his blog […]

    Pingback by Mobile Messaging 2.0 » Global Voices…: a hosted discussion on mobile messaging, devices, and user practices and trends — April 1, 2008 @ 4:24 pm

  37. […] wanted to feature some of the topics I talked about in my Cute Cats talk, but realized that it’s hard to summarize the entire talk in a short videocast. So we chose a […]

    Pingback by …My heart’s in Accra » Tunisian video activists on BoingBoing — April 1, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

  38. […] thoughts occurred to me this week as I pondered the myriad of articles and information contained in http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/03/08/the-cute-cat-theory-talk-at-etech/ and particularly this section:Kefaya activists were able to use mobile phone messages, some sent […]

    Pingback by Thurday Night Babble « Remonzer’s Weblog — April 3, 2008 @ 10:34 pm

  39. Great & useful post Ethan. Am in Shanghai for 3 months teaching a networked performance course & trying to get an understanding for how the filters work here. This is *extremely* useful & also typically insightful.

    THANK YOU for helping to make sense of it and also make connections.

    Adriene

    Comment by Adriene Jenik — April 6, 2008 @ 11:51 pm

  40. […] Twine Part Deux: Cats, Porn and Tibet I appreciate the lively discourse both inside and outside the Twine beta. I still have my doubts, but I thought it best to use an outside benchmark for usability and utility. The best standard I have ever found (thanks to Tom Woodward) is from Ethan Zuckerman from his Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism: […]

    Pingback by Twine Part Deux: Cats, Porn and Tibet « PhilSpace — April 7, 2008 @ 4:12 pm

  41. […] your cat, save the world! The Cute Cat Theory parte da questi due assunti […]

    Pingback by Share your cat, save the world! « Conversazioni dal Basso — April 11, 2008 @ 5:58 am

  42. […] He calls it the Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism […]

    Pingback by The Olympics so far | Adriene in Shanghai — April 12, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

  43. […] being a way to weave more state power, there may be some infrastructure by pass in the content with creative symbology (Scroll down to see the crab!) and some great propaganda but i would guess that this is not the […]

    Pingback by serendipityoucity :: Propaedeutic Enchiridion :: April :: 2008 — April 13, 2008 @ 11:07 am

  44. […] enhance knowledge of Advertising on le Pubard, Wiki and Blohttp://www.pubard.com/fr/Pepsi_:_Pinball??My heart??s in Accra ? The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETechSingel did an excellent job with my talk as well, The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. I was […]

    Pingback by my com — April 16, 2008 @ 8:11 pm

  45. […] Ethan Zuckerman shows that websites that are useful for activists must also be useful for celebrating cute cats. SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism”, url: “http://makesomethinghappen.net/2008/04/22/cute-cat-theory-of-digital-activism/” }); […]

    Pingback by Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism | Make Something Happen — April 22, 2008 @ 10:24 am

  46. […] Ethan (March 8 2008) The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech […]

    Pingback by lolcat literacy « word and image — May 17, 2008 @ 4:43 pm

  47. Great post, Ethan. You’re such a geek. ;)

    Comment by cat barrier — May 19, 2008 @ 10:33 pm

  48. […] …My heart’s in Accra » The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech How the first use of a technology isn’t the final use, and the litmus tests for whether your systems functions at all, well, or extremely well. […]

    Pingback by MKTG2032 Links Post 31: « Mktg2032’s Weblog — May 22, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

  49. […] Zuckerman spoke at ETech this year on The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. I’d offer the hypothesis that any sufficiently advanced read/write technology will get used for […]

    Pingback by Infotropism – Freebase, notability, and minority data — May 22, 2008 @ 8:24 pm

  50. […] she introduced the cute cat theory: Web 1.0 was created to share research papers. Web 2.0 was created to share pictures of cute cats. […]

    Pingback by New Media The Wizard Behind the Curtain by Beth Kanter | Notes & Takeaways | wiredPRworks — June 18, 2008 @ 10:27 am

  51. This is a beautiful little impassioned look at geekery/censorship. I teach a HS class in rhetoric and I might use it for online, hypertext argumentation. The open slide alone is worth the price of admission. Is this talk recorded or on video?

    The China info is particularly interesting and heartbreaking.

    Comment by Nate Stearns — June 27, 2008 @ 11:29 am

  52. Thanks for the kind words, Nate. I don’t know that it was recorded – you’d want to ask O’Reilly and Associates, who held it as part of their ETech conference.

    Comment by Ethan — June 27, 2008 @ 4:51 pm

  53. […] kan også tape på en slik strategi. Som en av grunnleggerne av Global Voices Ethan Zuckerman skrev på sin egen blogg: “Hver gang du tvinger en regjering til å blokkere et web 2.0-nettsted og stenger folks […]

    Pingback by Vox Publica » Retten til å blogge: frihetens nye slagmark — July 16, 2008 @ 3:54 am

  54. […] We believe that the most effective tools of change are neutral, and useful for stuff that has nothing to do with making the world a better place. Or as Ethan Zuckerman puts it, “sufficiently useful read/write platforms will attract both [cute cats] and activists.” […]

    Pingback by Make Something Happen » Blog Archive » The Point’s Manifesto, Take 1 — August 5, 2008 @ 1:35 am

  55. […] Cute cats If you read one thing this week on social media and social change, read Ethan Zuckerman’s “The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech.”  […]

    Pingback by Cute cats « Covertly Obvious — August 5, 2008 @ 4:35 pm

  56. […] …My heart’s in Accra » The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech examples of online video based activism in many countries […]

    Pingback by Blogroll » Links for 2008-09-29 [del.icio.us] — September 30, 2008 @ 2:18 am

  57. […] to my mind, Ethan Zuckerman’s “The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech” reminds of the need for tolerance.  Here is the flashy […]

    Pingback by Scratchpad — October 4, 2008 @ 9:40 am

  58. […] sites like YouTube or other appropriate technology. We wholeheartedly agree with Zuckerman’s Cute Cat Theory that most efforts use existing technology to appropriately reach the masses. Playing off that, we […]

    Pingback by ecofusion: media & communications for sustainability » Video’s ROI - Return on Inspiration — October 23, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

  59. […] …My heart’s in Accra » The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech I’d offer the hypothesis that any sufficiently advanced read/write technology will get used for two purposes: pornography and activism. Porn is a weak test for the success of participatory media – it’s like tapping a mike and asking, “Is it on?” If you’re not getting porn in your system, it doesn’t work. Activism is a stronger test – if activists are using your tools, it’s a pretty good indication that your tools are useful and usable. (tags: cats technology activism politics software/social) […]

    Pingback by links for 2008-11-20 « Amy G. Dala — November 20, 2008 @ 10:03 am

  60. […] This is almost certainly not what either Wikipedia or IWF was attempting to achieve, but it’s got the interesting affect of alerting millions of Britons to the existence of IWF and their role, even if only a few hundred would have missed being able to access this single Wikipedia page. This happens with almost all online censorship – censors end up blocking more than they wanted to, and they make a larger group of users aware that censorship is taking place. Few Turks are searching YouTube for content defaming Ataturk… but when Turkey blocks the whole site to Turkish viewers to block access to those videos, viewers ask why they can’t look at the video of the cute cat flushing the toilet. Millions of viewers who had no interest in an act of online activism end up paying attention because censors blocked more than they could have. (I’ve written at some length about this idea in my Cute Cat Theory posts.) […]

    Pingback by …My heart’s in Accra » Censoring a little is hard. Censoring a lot is easy. — December 8, 2008 @ 1:44 pm

  61. […] LOL cats, and organize politically) play a critical role in getting around government censorship.  You can read it here, with images he used at the […]

    Pingback by On the significance of LOL cats « Blogging Censorship — December 31, 2008 @ 12:41 pm

  62. […] content, they actually call more attention to the controversial content. (See my blogpost on the Cute Cat Theory for far more on this idea.) If China blocks pornography effectively, they will inadvertently create […]

    Pingback by …My heart’s in Accra » China, porn and unintended consequences — January 6, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

  63. […] also quotes Ethan Zuckerman, who refers to his “cute-cat theory of digital activism” — Web sites or proxy servers created specifically for activists are easy for a government […]

    Pingback by Facebook As a Platform for Anti-Establishment Protests in Egypt | Gauravonomics Blog — January 25, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

  64. […] a counter-point, I would like to point to Ethan Zuckerman’s “cute cat theory of digital activism” (most of us accidentally stumble upon activism while we upload pictures of cute cats on the […]

    Pingback by Which is a Better Mobile Citizen Reporting Tool: Twitter or Ushahidi? | Gauravonomics Blog — January 28, 2009 @ 1:29 am

  65. […] a counter-point, I would like to point to Ethan Zuckerman’s “cute cat theory of digital activism” (most of us accidentally stumble upon activism while we upload pictures of cute cats on the […]

    Pingback by Mikroblogging und soziale Bewegungen | blog.mensch.coop — February 3, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

  66. […] Rebecca recomienda leer : “Cute Cat. Teoría de Activismo digital”, de Ethan Zuckerman. Nosotros también os recomendamos leer el estudio sobre la censura de los bloggers en China que […]

    Pingback by El Gobierno chino invita a los bloggers a investigar el asesinato de Li Qiaoming | Periodismo Ciudadano — February 26, 2009 @ 3:00 am

  67. […] von Erik Hersman, das Ortsbezogenheit der Schlüssel zu Crisis Reporting ist und anderseits Ethan Zuckerman’s “cute cat theory of digital activism”, wonach Verfügbarkeit als Schlüsselfaktor zu sehen ist, analysiert werden. So lassen sich beide […]

    Pingback by Analyse von Mikroblogging-Aktivitäten bei der Gegenmobilisierung zum Naziaufmarsch am 14.02.2009 in Dresden | blog.mensch.coop — February 28, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

  68. […] Ethan Zuckerman, one of the early web developers, talks about the original purpose of the web, in The Cute Cat Theory Talk at etech: Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research […]

    Pingback by The Sunday Cat’s place on the web is recognized. « Feminist Philosophers — February 28, 2009 @ 8:59 pm

  69. You’ve spelled ’embraced’ as ’embarced’

    Nice article though.

    Comment by Dayus — March 1, 2009 @ 2:24 am

  70. You said,
    “There were several requests for me to post the slides – that’s not really realistic, as they were 100MB and rather video-rich”

    You can always put it up on bittorrent…

    Comment by Torrent — March 1, 2009 @ 2:52 am

  71. thanks a lot for all ur research , it was very informative and ur right on point…they’r thinkin about it in canada as well….freggin orwellian mofo’s

    Comment by vipez — March 1, 2009 @ 3:17 am

  72. Skype encryption is proprietary (theoretically broken) and broken (actually broken). I’m assuming you know this, but letting you know just in case.

    Excellent article, one of my favorite topics and I’ve never seen it covered with this depth before.

    Comment by Marcus — March 1, 2009 @ 3:18 am

  73. […] Zuckerman’s The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech This entry was written by Eero, posted on March 1, 2009 at 14:22, filed under Blog. Bookmark the […]

    Pingback by The cute cat theory of digital activism - modula — March 1, 2009 @ 7:23 am

  74. If there’s no porn, the tool doesn’t work, if there are no activists, it doesn’t work well…

    Porn is a weak test for the success of participatory media – it’s like tapping a mike and asking, “Is it on?” If you’re not getting porn in your system, it doesn’t work. Activism is a stronger test – if activists are using your tools, it’s a pretty goo…

    Trackback by digforleadership.com — March 1, 2009 @ 8:10 am

  75. […] The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech […]

    Pingback by Has anyone seen my spork? » Blog Archive » LOLCats versus Activism — March 1, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

  76. […] Now I can vouch from personal experience, and that of my digital homies, of viewing everything we see on the web for activist potential, that this is a robust theory. More from this great speech here. […]

    Pingback by Pornography and Activism | No passengers — March 1, 2009 @ 1:50 pm

  77. […] the hands of digital activists, especially those in environments where free speech is limited. This talk looks at creative uses of well-known tools to promote free speech in countries from Bahrain to […]

    Pingback by TAO - The Cute Cat Theory — March 1, 2009 @ 3:17 pm

  78. […] article that combines the usefulness of internet activism and the insanity of lolcats cuteness/banality. I won’t pretend to analyze the article here nor will I. I expect all of my readers to be […]

    Pingback by Satie Sundays… « Lechoncito con la mente perfecta — March 1, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

  79. […] The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech […]

    Pingback by edu tim » Daily Post 03/02/2009 — March 1, 2009 @ 8:36 pm

  80. It’s “badmiNton”, not “badmitton”.

    Comment by Paul — March 1, 2009 @ 10:05 pm

  81. […] from Ethan Zuckerman’s interesting talk on The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism […]

    Pingback by Extreme Habits — March 2, 2009 @ 9:49 am

  82. I love your porn and activism hypothesis!

    It goes along with an observation of mine… that to be a truly break-away success (at least in the us)a new medium must be a better delivery mechanism for Porn, where better is usually defined as more anonymous.

    I can trace this through the entire recent history of new media, starting from the VCR on, but that would be *my* speech ;)

    Comment by Jeff Kesselman — March 2, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

  83. […] activist test. Interesting observation from Ethan Zuckerman: Sufficiently usable read/write platforms will attract porn and activists. If there’s no […]

    Pingback by Labnotes » Rounded Corners 227 – Duct tape and attitude — March 3, 2009 @ 9:29 pm

  84. […] http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/03/08/the-cute-cat-theory-talk-at-etech/ : une théorie intéressante que je vous laisse découvrir […]

    Pingback by Dev Blog AF83 » Blog Archive » Veille technologique : Libertés, Méthodes agiles, HTML, Javascript, Outils, Développement, HADOPI, Autres — March 9, 2009 @ 3:23 pm

  85. […] Entertaining and informative reading, Ethan Zuckerman’s notes on his talk at ETech, “The Cute Cat Theory”. […]

    Pingback by Not Bad For a Cubicle » Blog Archive » “The Cute Cat Theory” Talk — March 9, 2009 @ 9:12 pm

  86. […] Innovate new formats and contexts for product consumption – It seems that whatever new mediums people invent ways to use it for porn. Through out the times smut peddlers have found ingenious ways to circumvent laws and societies’ norms by publishing and distributing porn in ways that punters have been able to consume it and fill their desires. Comics, animated movies, films, video, theaters, literature, computer games, porn for ipods, sculptures, jewelery, phonelines, paintings, t-shirts, playing cards, pens and what nots – if you can paint, print or carve something erotic into it someone has already tried it. Actually one interesting hypothesis has said that any sufficiently usable read/write system will attract porn and activists, and if there is not porn – the system doesn’t work. See more: http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/03/08/the-cute-cat-theory-talk-at-etech/ […]

    Pingback by Porn « Huima — March 15, 2009 @ 9:43 am

  87. […] on newspapers, Ethan’s cute cat theory on government destabilization, TAL on the giant pool of money, Cory at Microsoft, The zombie […]

    Pingback by Interesting times « Quinn Said — March 19, 2009 @ 1:19 pm

  88. […] Ethan Zuckerman’s My Heart’s in Accra blog from a talk he did at ETech : Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research […]

    Pingback by Across Weirdish Wild Space » Blog Archive » The cute cat theory of digital activism and eluding the cat — March 20, 2009 @ 6:20 am

  89. […] “Cute cat theory” is an peculiar but interesting talk on web 2.0 and political activism. The Web was […]

    Pingback by Cute cat theory | betörend — March 31, 2009 @ 4:49 am

  90. […] …My heart’s in Accra » The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech […]

    Pingback by links for 2009-04-04 - Kevin Bondelli’s Youth Vote Blog — April 4, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

  91. […] off to Natasha Chart of MyDD and OpenLeft for pointing me to this fantastic take on the issue of Web2.0, censorship and political activism. With web 2.0, we’ve embraced the idea that people are going to share pictures of their cats, and […]

    Pingback by Web 2.0: The Cute Cat Theory Leads To Political Activism | My Blog Channel — May 10, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

  92. Activists know Internet is a powerful tool. That’s why I find it extremely weird knowing that lots of people still haven’t got a clue about the possibilities of online tools. For this reason I see Internet develop even more once millions of ordinary people dig deeper into Internet world!

    Comment by Gaba — May 25, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

  93. […] tools so that they can do the things they’d like to do online. This is known as the Cute Cat theory of digital activism. Read it.  Make no mistake – the blocking will continue.  There […]

    Pingback by The Censorship Saga Continues… | Bahrain Blogs Aggregator — June 14, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

  94. […] here to see the original: …My heart’s in Accra » The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech Share and […]

    Pingback by …My heart’s in Accra » The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech — June 15, 2009 @ 2:36 am

  95. […] post here. Via Jodi Dean, I just came across a great essay on Ethan Zuckerman’s Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. Basic principle: Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research […]

    Pingback by The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism « Hanging Around On The Wrong Side Of The World (still) — June 18, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

  96. […] depends on old-fashioned courage, strategy, and leadership. And Ethan Zuckerman notes (his “cute cat theory“) that Twitter’s success results in large measure from its multi-purpose nature – its […]

    Pingback by Info/Law » Iran and the New Net — June 22, 2009 @ 12:59 pm

  97. […] It’s a long post, but Eph Ethan Zuckerman’s work on censorship and the evolving uses of technologies is worth a read. He was the first “tech guy” for Tripod, the webhosting company that started in Williamstown, and still lives in the Berkshires. A few quotes to whet your appetite: Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research papers. […]

    Pingback by Ethan Zuckerman on Internet Freedom : EphBlog — June 26, 2009 @ 11:10 am

  98. […] to Ethan Zuckerman, lolcats are an American phenomenon that doesn’t translate well to other countries. Another […]

    Pingback by When Falls the Coliseum » Stone age memes: Radioactive lolcats — July 2, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

  99. […] July 25, 2009 at 7:55 pm | In Propaganda, Technology | Leave a Comment “Id offer the hypothesis that any sufficiently advanced read/write technology will get used for tw…. Porn is a weak test for the success of participatory media its like tapping a mike and […]

    Pingback by The Cute Cat Theory of Information Technology « Ireneo’s Memory — July 25, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

  100. Comprehensive and very resourceful articles. The theory also works here in indonesia. thanks for sharing

    Comment by haerawan — July 30, 2009 @ 11:54 am

  101. […] Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech: http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/03/08/the-cute-cat-theory-talk-at-etech/ […]

    Pingback by infinity's status on Wednesday, 26-Aug-09 16:16:47 UTC - Identi.ca — August 26, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

  102. […] you do all those things, the world will sing your praises. It’s the Internet after all. The Cute Cat Theory is in full […]

    Pingback by An Non-MMO comparison of Chanters - SkyChanter — September 14, 2009 @ 3:24 am

  103. […] WorldChanging, who got it from Ethan Zuckerman’s own blog: "Blocking banal content on the internet is a self-defeating proposition. It teaches people […]

    Pingback by Export LOLcats, Save The World « new home of my blog, hopefully — November 18, 2009 @ 12:13 am

  104. […] unfettered access to information, will browse for pornography, conspiracy theories gossip, i.e., Ethan Zuckermans Cute Cat Theory. Again, no breaking news there either. Still, Evgeny cites the fact that 70% of all content swapped […]

    Pingback by Why Dictators Love the Web or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Say So What?! « iRevolution — November 19, 2009 @ 1:46 am

  105. […] ?? ??? ?????? ?????” ????? ????? ???????” ?? “Cute Cat Theory” ? ???? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ?? ???????? ????? ????? […]

    Pingback by ?? ??? ???????? ? ????? ????? ????? ????? ??? ????? ??? ????? ??????? ??????? ? ??????? ?????? ??? « sami ben gharbia — February 8, 2010 @ 11:58 am

  106. […] and then i told them about my thesis, then they told me to look up this article and read up on that blog. and we shared our mutual love for clay shirky (the smartest man alive, according to jay rosen of nyu, the “it” boy-writer of internet it seems) and ethan zuckerman (how can you possibly say no to the cute cat theory!). […]

    Pingback by wronging rights responds « lick, the civilized world — March 4, 2010 @ 2:44 am

  107. Thanks a lot for all your research , it was very informative…

    Comment by vesti srbija — March 15, 2010 @ 9:07 am

  108. […] is an invention optimized mostly for people who want to send each other cute pictures of their cats, whenever possible with funny nonstandard English captions attached. So instead of doing the useful […]

    Pingback by Poll Results Handily Explained by Whatever Bloggers Think « THE CLIMATE POST — March 18, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  109. 2012 The End or Better World…

    In reply to Gerald Moss, my book the Bible Code has the reference to the earthquake on page 140, 141 and 142….

    Trackback by 2012 The End or Better World — April 22, 2010 @ 6:13 am

  110. […] to videos of cats flushing toilets, we see them for the heavy-handed bullies that they are. The cute cats serve as cover traffic for more serious political speech – so long as chinese users want to laugh at our cat videos, […]

    Pingback by …My heart’s in Accra » ROFLCon: From Weird to Wide — May 11, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

  111. […] I’m willing to bet it’s actually many more). People are, for whatever reason (be it cute cats or life-or-death issues) climbing over walls to get to […]

    Pingback by Jillian C. York » Policing Content in the Quasi-Public Sphere — May 15, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

  112. […] dess betydelse fr sociala medier r definitivt vrt att lyssna p (han kompletterar med bilder hr). Det r en uppdatering i kampen mellan censur och fiffiga vgar omkring den, men ocks en […]

    Pingback by Nr du slsurfar p jobbet stder du i alla fall demokratin « Mattias Svensson — June 4, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

  113. […] ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? […]

    Pingback by Isaac Mao » ?????? Dog Chasing Tail — June 12, 2010 @ 11:20 pm

  114. […] ??????????????????????The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech […]

    Pingback by ?????? | luluinwater — June 22, 2010 @ 8:56 am

  115. […] The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism (Ethan Zuckerman) goes something like this: […]

    Pingback by Cute Cats in the Age of Digital Reproduction « Rear Left — August 16, 2010 @ 9:16 am

  116. […] nature of the web.  Evgeny Morozov calls it cyber-hedonism.  Ethan Zuckerman refers to it in his cute cat theory.  In Evgeny’s view, the leisure activities available on the Internet crowd out more serious […]

    Pingback by The Capoeira Strategy | meta-activism project — September 2, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

  117. […] the link only goes to some cute muppets singing about the Internet]. This, however, is not true. The Internet is for cute cats. As proof here is a video of a Catholic boys choir that has gone viral. A video about a Catholic […]

    Pingback by Duetto buffo di due gatti* | Hourclass — September 17, 2010 @ 10:22 pm

  118. […] the opponent loses whatever response he takes.  Daryn takes the example of Ethan Zuckerman’s cute cat theory, that if activists post information on a popular and generally apolitical platform like Blogger the […]

    Pingback by Webinar Notes: The Digital Duel | meta-activism project — October 14, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

  119. […] a link to find out more information about what COICA was and your senators phone numbers. If the Cute Cate Theory of Digital Activism is correct people will only really start paying attention when you take their cute cats away. If […]

    Pingback by You Will Suffer My Love » Archive » An Internet General Strike — December 3, 2010 @ 12:46 am

  120. […] use and distribution some of these applications get chosen by activists as tools for social action (Zuckerman: 2008). During 2007 the use of the social media application Twitter, a “social networking and […]

    Pingback by Twittering Activists: the Uses of Twitter for Political Activism | Too Bad You Never Knew Ace Hanna — December 18, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

  121. […] than those purpose built for regime change because of what Ethan Zuckerman calls the “cute cat theory of digital activism.” Shirky explains, “specific tools designed to defeat state censorship (such as proxy […]

    Pingback by News of Note — Read the WISP Manifesto « WISPA — January 19, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

  122. […] quote from Clay Shirky I heard in an NPR interview the other day led me an interesting talk by Ethan Zuckerman about social media web apps and […]

    Pingback by “Don’t Underestimate The Value of Cute Cats” -- BlogLESS: A Blog about Design Ethics — January 25, 2011 @ 2:11 am

  123. […] quote from Clay Shirky I heard in an NPR interview the other day led me an interesting talk by Ethan Zuckerman about social media web apps and […]

    Pingback by “Don’t Underestimate The Value of Cute Cats” -- BlogLESS: A Blog about Design Ethics — January 25, 2011 @ 2:11 am

  124. […] are what the internet is for, right?  And don’t underestimate, says Ethan Zuckerman, the power of cute cat pictures. Category: cat, descriptions Posted on: January 25th, 2010 by […]

    Pingback by about | two fell swoops — January 25, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

  125. […] Ethan Zuckerman on “The Cute Cat Theory” January 29, 2011 // 0 [Full article here.] […]

    Pingback by Ethan Zuckerman on “The Cute Cat Theory” « virtues of the absurd — January 29, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

  126. […] Ethan Zuckerman on China and the Great Firewall January 29, 2011 // 0 [Full article here.] […]

    Pingback by Ethan Zuckerman on China and the Great Firewall « virtues of the absurd — January 29, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

  127. […] these are more effective because they connect people in a personal and diffuse way that is harder (but not impossible) for the authorities to control. And as we have seen, the networks that connect […]

    Pingback by Charlie Beckett, POLIS Director » Blog Archive » After Tunisia and Egypt: towards a new typology of media and networked political change — February 11, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

  128. […] abbi la raffinatezza di limitarti al tuo gatto, e poi carica il risultato su Flickr. Secondo la teoria Cute Cat di Ethan Zuckerman aiuterai a combattere le dittature. Per inciso, l’immagine […]

    Pingback by Fototeca Storica Nazionale Ando Gilardi » L’arte di non fotografare — February 21, 2011 @ 8:28 am

  129. […] View the original article, “The Cute Cat Theory of Activism”, here. […]

    Pingback by Stickittothemaneosis « fullofemptyspace — February 27, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

  130. […] Have a read. […]

    Pingback by Cute Cats FTW | Public Praxis — February 28, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

  131. […] assigned The Cute Cat Theory of Internet Activism to one of my Time Arts class this semester as a reading. Ethan Zuckerman presented it as a talk in […]

    Pingback by You Will Suffer My Love » Archive » Cute Cats FTW — February 28, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

  132. […] “Cute Cat Theory” relates to the notion that most web (and mobile phone) users access online content for […]

    Pingback by Mobile Banking and the Dictator’s Dilemma: The Piggy Bank Theory of Digital Activism | iRevolution — May 3, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

  133. […] “Cute Cat Theory” relates to the notion that most web (and mobile phone) users access online content for […]

    Pingback by Mobile Banking and the Dictator’s Dilemma: The Piggy Bank Theory of Digital Activism » OWNI.eu, News, Augmented — May 4, 2011 @ 7:26 am

  134. […] “Cute Cat Theory” relates to the notion that most web (and mobile phone) users access online content for […]

    Pingback by The political costs of clamping down on the internet / Waging Nonviolence — May 5, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

  135. […] links this to Christopher Kedzie’s “Dictator’s Dilemma” and Ethan Zuckerman’s “Cute Cat Theory.” The former theory postulates that, in this (or any) new information age, a dictator faces a choice: […]

    Pingback by Angry Birds: m-Health Edition | Global Health — May 6, 2011 @ 11:14 am

  136. […] The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism: a Web 2.0 tool is only useful if it works for activists and cat macros. […]

    Pingback by Some srs bsns for your Saturday night. « Humanist+Humorist — May 28, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

  137. […] Censorship 22 July 2011 No Comment A few years ago, Ethan Zuckerman gave a talk at CITP on his “cute cat theory” of internet censorship (see also NY Times article), which goes something like […]

    Pingback by Telex and Ethan Zuckerman’s "Cute Cat Theory" of Internet Censorship | Ellis County Herald News — July 22, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

  138. […] the world economically and socially. Ethan Zuckerman takes this point one step forward with his Cute Cat Theory. As Zuckerman explains on an episode of On the Media: One of the things that I’ve been advising […]

    Pingback by Spreading Democracy with Kim Kardashian! | Mirror Neurons — September 14, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

  139. […] Zuckerman’s Cute Cat Theory of the Internet argues that cute pictures of cats (i.e., memes) are precondition to the spread of powerful ideas, […]

    Pingback by Andrés Monroy-Hernández » Blog Archive » Internet Memes for World Peace — September 23, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

  140. […] Zuckerman’s Cute Cat Theory of the Internet argues that cute pictures of cats (i.e., memes) are precondition to the spread of powerful ideas, […]

    Pingback by Social Media Collective — September 23, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

  141. […] (In his talk at the 2008 O’Reilly ETech conference, Zuckerman explored this theme in his talk on the Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism.) […]

    Pingback by MicStore.com » News Leadership 3.0 — October 11, 2011 @ 1:31 pm

  142. […] Zuckerman’s seminal “Cute Cats” theory of internet activism: http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/03/08/the-cute-cat-theory-talk-at-etech/ Noam Cohen’s NY Times article on the improbable use of Pastebin in #OWS: […]

    Pingback by participation2011 — October 23, 2011 @ 8:56 am

  143. […] The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech. Wow, do I love Ethan Zuckerman’s blog. His approach to blogging is similar to mine, in that he tries to bring together a lot of ideas to improve development practice in the field. He does it a lot better, though, and writes meaty posts full of interesting analysis. […]

    Pingback by Blood and Milk » Blog Archive » The Cute Cat Theory of technology — November 9, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

  144. […] keine befriedigende Lösung zu sein. Ethan Zuckermann spricht in diesem Zusammenhang von der „Cute-Cat-Theory“. Diese handelt davon, dass diejenigen, die die Nutzung des Internets und insbesondere sozialer […]

    Pingback by Mission Bachelorarbeit (Teil 2) « Politur — December 7, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

  145. […] Zuckerman (@EthanZ): creator of the Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism, which explains the relationship between Internet platforms, lolcats, pornography, and activism. […]

    Pingback by Foreign Policy weighs in on the top twiterrati | Clicktivist — December 9, 2011 @ 1:21 am

  146. […] of the July high speed train collision. And the popularity of Weibo gives Chinese authorities a classic Cute Cats problem – censoring the service too heavily would alienate the 250 million people who use it, […]

    Pingback by …My heart’s in Accra » Exploring the Chinese internet with WeiboScope — December 28, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

  147. […] think, then, to Zuckerman’s Cute Cat Theory, which goes a little like […]

    Pingback by Social Media Street Art: Censorship, China’s Political Memes and the Cute Cat Theory | An Xiao Studio: the virtual studio of an xiao mina — December 28, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

  148. […] cute cat theory of digital activism isn’t new, I first heard him voice it in 2008, but given the recent events of last year it’s perhaps more pertinent than ever. It’s a […]

    Pingback by Ethan Zuckerman lectures on cute cats and the Arab Spring | Clicktivist — January 4, 2012 @ 2:28 am

  149. […] of the July high speed train collision. And the popularity of Weibo gives Chinese authorities a classic Cute Cats problem – censoring the service too heavily would alienate the 250 million people who use it, including […]

    Pingback by Exploring the Chinese Internet with WeiboScope » OWNI.eu, News, Augmented — January 6, 2012 @ 9:24 am

  150. […] This won’t come as a surprise to Ethan Zuckerman, who many years ago propounded his “cute cat theory” of internet […]

    Pingback by Measures of authority, measures of decline | the fifth wave — January 6, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

  151. […] Ethan. The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech. My Heart’s in Accra. 08/03/2008. Disponível em: http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/03/08/the-cute-cat-theory-talk-at-etech/ (acesso em 09/01/2012). Share this:TwitterFacebookGostar disso:GostoSeja o primeiro a gostar disso […]

    Pingback by 03. Pornografia, Gatinhos Fofos e a Primavera Árabe « Direito e Redes Sociais — January 10, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  152. […] Zuckerman, Ethan. (2008). “The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech”. Available at http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/03/08/the-cute-cat-theory-talk-at-etech/ […]

    Pingback by Digital Natives and Politics in Asia » On Books, Movies and Other Stuff — January 26, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

  153. […] The Cute Cat Theory Of Digital Activism. An interesting essay that I read online discussed how tools that people make to have fun with their cat and dog pictures/videos are helping activism in the digital age. This MAY be a good side effect. […]

    Pingback by LOLtehrapie – We drew first LOL! | Jugal Mody — January 28, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  154. […] This is Ethan Zuckerman’s insight, not mine.  Building on the idea, Zuckerman has advanced a “cute cat theory” of web activism:  if you mess with the governance of the internet, you will get into serious […]

    Pingback by Lessons of SOPA | the fifth wave — February 3, 2012 @ 12:32 am

  155. […] That mixed picture is epitomised by the brave, inventive and smart Tunisian activist Astrubal. He made wonderful use of social media to crowdsource, document and map the extravagant use of an official government jet to take Tunisia’s First Lady on expensive shopping trips around Europe. Shared photos from plane spotters in many different companies were added to Google Earth to produce an effective and plausible video that turned abstract complaints about indulgent waste at the top into specific evidence. […]

    Pingback by The Arab Spring, social media and lessons for future revolutionaries | Mark Pack — February 6, 2012 @ 7:50 am

  156. […] been fascinated by Ethan Zuckerman’s Cute Cat Theory ever since I read about it.  You should read the full post, but the gist of it is this: social […]

    Pingback by A Curated History of the Grass Mud Horse Song | 八八吧 :: 88 Bar — February 7, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

  157. […] Zuckerman has developed a theory called ‘The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism’. He argues that the web was invented so physicists could share research papers while Web 2.0 […]

    Pingback by How SOPA, #Occupy, Arab Spring and.... LOLCats reshaped the public sphere - Part 2 | Imperial Leisure — February 8, 2012 @ 6:37 am

  158. […] Ethan Zuckerman, “The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech,” My Heart’s in Accra (blog), Internet, http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/03/08/the-cute-cat-theory-talk-at-etech/. 27 Jillian C. York, “Arab World: After Tunisia, Who’s Next?” Global Voices Online, Internet, […]

    Pingback by Jillian C. York » The Arab Digital Vanguard: How a Decade of Blogging Contributed to a Year of Revolution — February 11, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

  159. […] bump against regime surveillance and control.  (This is the back story to Ethan Zuckerman’s “cute cat theory” of online […]

    Pingback by Homo informaticus: a theory of political influence | the fifth wave — March 5, 2012 @ 11:16 am

  160. […] and knowledgeable analyst of Africa and the information landscape.  I have often cited his “cute cat theory” of online activism, which has a witty name but deep explanatory power.  Kony 2012, in fact, […]

    Pingback by The unsettling “simplifications” of Kony 2012 | the fifth wave — March 21, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

  161. […] Chatting over the morning snacks I got some reading suggestions, including Kathleen de la Pena McCook. I also wrote a note to myself to find ‘that article about porn and cats – political ,’ which showed up as my first hit when I searched for ‘internet cats and porn political’. I do love the internet. It was “The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism“ […]

    Pingback by Library Technology Conference (March 15) « ellie <3 libraries — March 27, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

  162. […] “The goal is to make the traffic look like some other protocol that they are not willing to block,” Ian Goldberg, a professor at the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, told Ars. “They could just shut off the Internet, of course, like Egypt did for a few days a year or so ago, but that, of course, would be extremely unpopular to their own people that are wondering why can’t see pictures of cute cats.” […]

    Pingback by Tor traffic disguised as Skype video calls to fool repressive governments : Information Technology Leader — April 4, 2012 @ 5:02 am

  163. […] earlier version, from 2008, pointed to how the overhead views of Google Maps had shown precisely who owned property in Bahrain – which often turned out to be the royal family. But what about the mechanisms that are […]

    Pingback by Walled gardens look rosy for Facebook, Apple – and would-be censors | Old News — April 17, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  164. […] earlier version, from 2008, pointed to how the overhead views of Google Maps had shown precisely who owned property in Bahrain – which often turned out to be the royal family. But what about the mechanisms that are […]

    Pingback by Walled gardens look rosy for censors | IT Support London | SupportWizard.net — April 17, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

  165. […] “The goal is to make the traffic look like some other protocol that they are not willing to block,” Ian Goldberg, a professor at the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, told Ars. “They could just shut off the Internet, of course, like Egypt did for a few days a year or so ago, but that, of course, would be extremely unpopular to their own people that are wondering why can’t see pictures of cute cats.” […]

    Pingback by 1776host Blog » Tor traffic disguised as Skype video calls to fool repressive governments — April 17, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

  166. […] earlier version, from 2008, pointed to how the overhead views of Google Maps had shown precisely who owned property in Bahrain – which often turned out to be the royal family. But what about the mechanisms that are […]

    Pingback by Walled gardens look rosy for censors | Apple — April 18, 2012 @ 12:42 am

  167. […] coudn’t be successful without taking into account actual uses of other SNS. The cute cat theory of Ethan Zuckerman brings us clear insights : “Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to […]

    Pingback by The next Facebook will be a toolkit for social computing | Sharism Lab — May 18, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

  168. […] effort, not the mythical power of social media, and discusses Ethan Zuckerman’s fascinating Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. Randeree is honest enough to acknowledge that web archives can be a double-edged sword – while […]

    Pingback by Manchester’s FutureEverything conference – day two | Old News — May 21, 2012 @ 3:01 am

  169. […] effort, not the mythical power of social media, and discusses Ethan Zuckerman’s fascinating Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. Randeree is honest enough to acknowledge that web archives can be a double-edged sword – while […]

    Pingback by Manchester’s FutureEverything conference – day two | Dani News — May 21, 2012 @ 4:09 am

  170. […] effort, not the mythical power of social media, and discusses Ethan Zuckerman’s fascinating Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. Randeree is honest enough to acknowledge that web archives can be a double-edged sword – while […]

    Pingback by Dexter Sucks – Television Show - Manchester’s FutureEverything conference – day two — May 21, 2012 @ 5:07 am

  171. […] effort, not the mythical power of social media, and discusses Ethan Zuckerman’s fascinating Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. Randeree is honest enough to acknowledge that web archives can be a double-edged sword – while […]

    Pingback by Dexter Sucks – Television Show - Manchester’s FutureEverything conference – day two — May 21, 2012 @ 5:07 am

  172. […] La teoría de los gatos lindos: «La web 1.0 se inventó para que los científicos pudieran intercambiar artículos científicos, la web 2.0 se inventó para que la gente pudiera intercambiar fotos de gatos», el artículo también establece una hipótesis: «si no hay pornografía [en un sistema de comunicaciones] no funciona, si no hay activismo no funciona bien». Es un artículo acerca de la censura y el activismo. […]

    Pingback by Feeds Anarquistas 28 (congelados) « Libertas ¡! — May 21, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

  173. […] effort, not the mythical power of social media, and discusses Ethan Zuckerman’s fascinating Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. Randeree is honest enough to acknowledge that web archives can be a double-edged sword – while […]

    Pingback by Manchester's FutureEverything conference – day two — May 22, 2012 @ 1:08 am

  174. […] for the internet,” the banner logo for the project actually features a cat — a nod to Ethan Zuckerman’s theories on digital activism. A number of sites have already signed up, according to Forbes, including Reddit, the Electronic […]

    Pingback by The Internet Defense League will let anyone with a web presence become a … – The Verge – See Global News — May 26, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

  175. […] version could be called a “cat signal,” referencing Ethan Zuckerman’s “Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism,” which posits that user-generated content platforms excel at getting activist messages out […]

    Pingback by WordPress, Reddit, Cheezburger and Others Join New “Internet Defense League” - Liz Gannes - Social - AllThingsD — May 26, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

  176. […] version could be called a “cat signal,” referencing Ethan Zuckerman’s “Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism,” which posits that user-generated content platforms excel at getting activist messages out […]

    Pingback by WordPress, Reddit, Cheezburger and Others Join New Internet Defense League | TechKu — May 27, 2012 @ 5:05 am

  177. […] joked that their version could be called a “cat signal,” referencing Ethan Zuckerman’s “Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism,” which posits that user-generated content platforms excel at getting activist messages out to […]

    Pingback by WordPress, Reddit, Cheezburger and Others Join New Internet Defense League | widgets.za.net — May 27, 2012 @ 10:19 am

  178. […] version could be called a “cat signal,” referencing Ethan Zuckerman’s “Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism,” which posits that user-generated content platforms excel at getting activist messages out […]

    Pingback by WordPress, Reddit, Cheezburger and Others Join New Internet Defense League | Social | TechBoBo - News, Analysis and Opinion — May 27, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

  179. […] murciélago de la ‘bat-señal’ ha sido sustituido por un gato, en homenaje a la ‘Teoría del Gato Adorable del Activismo Digital’ de Ethan Zuckerman, que entiende que las redes sociales y comunidades de usuarios tienen el mismo […]

    Pingback by La ‘bat-señal’ que acudirá en tu auxilio cuando amenacen la libertad de internet | R-evolución — May 27, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

  180. […] murciélago de la ‘bat-señal’ ha sido sustituido por un gato, en homenaje a la ‘Teoría del Gato Adorable del Activismo Digital’ de Ethan Zuckerman, que entiende que las redes sociales y comunidades de usuarios tienen el mismo […]

    Pingback by La ‘bat-señal’ que acudirá en tu auxilio cuando amenacen la libertad de internet | Vamos a Cambiar el Mundo — May 27, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  181. […] that their version could be called a “cat signal,” referencing Ethan Zuckerman’s “Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism,” which posits that user-generated content platforms excel at getting activist messages out to […]

    Pingback by about everything – WordPress, Reddit, Cheezburger and Others Join New Internet Defense League — May 28, 2012 @ 10:57 am

  182. […] that their version could be called a “Cat signal,” referencing Ethan Zuckerman’s “Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism,” which posits that user-generated content platforms excel at getting activist messages out to […]

    Pingback by Seattle Lolcats to the Rescue for the Internet Defense League! | Seattle 24x7 — May 29, 2012 @ 12:07 am

  183. […] murciélago de la ‘bat-señal’ ha sido sustituido por un gato, en homenaje a la ‘Teoría del Gato Adorable del Activismo Digital’ de Ethan Zuckerman, que entiende que las redes sociales y comunidades de usuarios tienen el mismo […]

    Pingback by La ‘bat-señal’ que acudirá en tu auxilio cuando amenacen la libertad de internet « Seres libres para la democracia real y la verdad — May 29, 2012 @ 1:30 am

  184. […] Se trata de un gato, ‘Cat-man’, en referencia a la teoría de Ethan Zuckerman sobre el activismo digital y los gatitos monos, apunta All Things Digital, la cual destaca el poder de movilización de la web 2.0 incluso en […]

    Pingback by Nace la Liga de la Defensa de Internet, la ‘Bat-señal’ | Blogdelcaminante — May 29, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

  185. […] murciélago de la ‘bat-señal’ ha sido sustituido por un gato, en homenaje a la ‘Teoría del Gato Adorable del Activismo Digital’ de Ethan Zuckerman, que entiende que las redes sociales y comunidades de usuarios tienen el mismo […]

    Pingback by LA “BAT SEÑAL” QUE ACUDIRÁ A TU AUXILIO CUANDO AMENACEN LA LIBERTAD DE INTERNET « SR HADDEN CONSULTING GROUP — May 30, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

  186. […] background-position: 50% 0px ; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } http://www.ethanzuckerman.com – Today, 3:19 […]

    Pingback by …My heart’s in Accra » The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech | NetCulture | Scoop.it — May 31, 2012 @ 4:18 am

  187. […] activistes considèrent également les lolcats comme les symboles de la liberté du net. À voir ici ou ici. Ils ont récemment fait appel aux chats pour se défendre des lois telles que la SOPA et la […]

    Pingback by Les chats, ambassadeurs du net « long story short — May 31, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

  188. […] turns out that it’s related to a theory put forward by Ethan Zuckerman called the “Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism.” The theory says, essentially, that if governments shut down social sites or services that […]

    Pingback by WordPress Joins the Internet Defense League — June 1, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  189. […] turns out that it’s related to a theory put forward by Ethan Zuckerman called the “Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism.” The theory says, essentially, that if governments shut down social sites or services that […]

    Pingback by WordPress Joins the Internet Defense League | WP Engine Test Site — June 1, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

  190. […] turns out that it’s related to a theory put forward by Ethan Zuckerman called the “Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism.” The theory says, essentially, that if governments shut down social sites or services that […]

    Pingback by wp-coder.net » WordPress Joins the Internet Defense League — June 1, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

  191. […] there is also a transcript […]

    Pingback by Arab Democracy & Social Media with Ethan Zuckerman – YouTube « What matters 4 us — June 21, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

  192. […] have become the unofficial mascot of The Internet. According to professor Ethan Zuckerman’s “cute cat theory of digital activism” people will only become interested in fighting for The Internet if their mundane activities […]

    Pingback by The Internet Defense League » OWNI.eu, News, Augmented — July 5, 2012 @ 4:45 am

  193. […] Some will be copper-bottomed truth, some will be rumour, and there will be a fair amount of LOLcats in between.Social media sites and search engines accelerate and facilitate the sharing of content. […]

    Pingback by Web 2.0: Don’t shoot the messenger | Index on Censorship — August 24, 2012 @ 7:26 am

  194. […] Some will be copper-bottomed truth, some will be rumour, and there will be a fair amount of LOLcats in […]

    Pingback by Others | Web 2.0: Don’t shoot the messenger | All Web 2.0 | News and Updates — August 26, 2012 @ 12:39 am

  195. […] Ethan Zuckerman’s The Cute Cat Theory Talk […]

    Pingback by LOL Anthropology | Savage Minds — October 3, 2012 @ 4:32 am

  196. […] effort, not the mythical power of social media, and discusses Ethan Zuckerman’s fascinating Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. Randeree is honest enough to acknowledge that web archives can be a double-edged sword – while […]

    Pingback by Manchester's FutureEverything conference – day two - Government Tenders, Government News and Information - Government Online — December 12, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

  197. […] solcher Räume lässt diese für demokratische Partizipation attraktiv werden (die berühmte Cute-Cat-Theory – wobei natürlich nicht naiv zu folgern ist, dass der Rückgriff auf private soziale Netzwerke […]

    Pingback by Keep Calm and Carry On: Wieso das Internet nicht Privatheit und Demokratie gefährdet » theorieblog.de — December 13, 2012 @ 9:08 am

  198. […] Ethan Zuckerman  […]

    Pingback by Like — December 13, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

  199. […] politique, d’après la théorie des chats mignons de Ethan Zuckerman, les « lolcats » possèdent aussi, une vertu étonnante : […]

    Pingback by Les Lolcats dans la communication — January 17, 2013 @ 1:09 am

  200. […] Ethan (2008-08-03). ”The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech“. My heart’s in Accra. Retrieved […]

    Pingback by Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism | Six by Six Art — January 21, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

  201. […] (With a little help from Twitter, I was able to source the quote to Ethan Zuckerman’s 2008 talk at ETech on the cute cat theory.) […]

    Pingback by I Heard It Through The App Vine | digiphile — January 28, 2013 @ 10:42 am

  202. […] dess betydelse för sociala medier är definitivt värt att lyssna på (han kompletterar med bilder här). Det är en uppdatering i kampen mellan censur och fiffiga vägar omkring den, men också en […]

    Pingback by När du slösurfar på jobbet stöder du i alla fall demokratin | Magasinet Neo — January 30, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

  203. […] “Cute Cat Theory” relates to the notion that most web (and mobile phone) users access online content for […]

    Pingback by The political costs of clamping down on the internet - Waging Nonviolence — February 13, 2013 @ 1:50 am

  204. […] really good idea, possibly accompanied by an adorable kitten, could take over the world in approximately three weeks. Imagine […]

    Pingback by How Will Ideas Grow in the Future? Tomorrow Global — February 25, 2013 @ 10:32 am

  205. […] Beth Kanter one of my favorite nonprofit tech friends Twittered this article The Cute Cat Theory Talk at eTech. […]

    Pingback by Does OpenID meet P___/Activist test yet? – Identity Woman — March 10, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

  206. […] background reading: Ethan Zuckerman’s Cut Cat Theory of Digital Activism Sianne Ngai’s The Cuteness of the Avant […]

    Pingback by Cat Faces — March 18, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

  207. […] Ethan Zuckerman’s Cute Cat Theory […]

    Pingback by Cute Cat Theory » Noah J Springer — March 24, 2013 @ 12:16 am

  208. […] years back, I gave a talk at O’Reilly’s ETech conference that urged the audience to spend less time thinking up clever ways dissidents could blog secretly […]

    Pingback by …My heart’s in Accra » Cute Cats to the Rescue? Participatory Media and Political Expression — April 29, 2013 @ 10:29 am

  209. […] feed than the on you started with) because of the porn groups? Smarter observers than me have noticed that the appearance of porn on your new platform is proof, of a weak sort, that your platform is […]

    Pingback by The Pornocalypse Comes For Us All – ErosBlog: The Sex Blog — May 1, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

  210. […] posting articles debating the cute cat phenomenon. Why is it that cats have taken over Web 2.0? What are the political implications of cute cats? Who has the cutest […]

    Pingback by Have a cat picture (or 3) | Welcome to VivianPow.com — May 11, 2013 @ 11:25 am

  211. […] keine befriedigende Lösung zu sein. Ethan Zuckermann spricht in diesem Zusammenhang von der „Cute-Cat-Theory“. Diese handelt davon, dass diejenigen, die die Nutzung des Internets und insbesondere sozialer […]

    Pingback by » Mission Bachelor-Arbeit (Teil 2): Die Facebook-Counter-Revolution Politurblog — May 24, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

  212. […] In March this year Ethan Zuckerman gave a talk at ETech called The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. […]

    Pingback by The Cute Cat Theory is a challenge worth of contemplation — July 22, 2013 @ 9:37 am

  213. […] For those new to the concept of fractional reserve banking (and why would they care?), the kitty picture is more likely to work as a way to spark curiosity than a written article – in fact there’s a theory on this phenomenon called the Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. […]

    Pingback by MEMEs – The Mind-Viruses of Cultural Change | Cruxcatalyst: The Heart of Change — July 31, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

  214. […] Because of these two types of Facebook users -in the broadest sense the internet users- take part of the same virtual places, when Facebook is blocked each users would be affected. Zuckerman says that  […]

    Pingback by The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism | Freed or Framed — October 31, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

  215. […] example of what Ethan Zuckerman of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society calls the ‘cute cat theory of digital activism.’ By using the seemingly innocuous tools of remix culture and massively open sharing platforms, […]

    Pingback by Vietmeme » Decree 72 Update: A Deafening Silence — November 14, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

  216. […] a great example of what Ethan Zuckerman calls the ‘cute cat theory of digital activism.’ By using the seemingly innocuous tools of remix culture and massively open sharing platforms, […]

    Pingback by The Civic Beat Reader » Censorship and Surveillance on Vietnam’s Web: An Interview With Vietmeme (Part 2 of 3) — January 15, 2014 @ 7:31 pm

  217. […] http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/03/08/the-cute-cat-theory-talk-at-etech/ […]

    Pingback by Artificially Intelligent — January 21, 2014 @ 9:44 pm

  218. […] of memes are “cute kitten” type memes, as Ethan Zuckerman has written about here: “The Cute Cat Theory ….”Now there is an activist purpose, as Zuckerman explores, and the comparison between these purposes […]

    Pingback by Memes, Facebook’s Moral Relativism . . . Pre-Linguistic Westerns  Dark Politricks — January 26, 2014 @ 2:36 pm

  219. […] Meme was a word coined by Richard Dawkins I believe, back in the ’80s, to describe how ideas spread or metastasized through societies, or sub categories of society. I’m not here to write a history of internet meme evolution, but to suggest that the posting of memes, those already created for you, is suggestive of intellectual atrophy, and that the entire construct of social media lends itself to this form of non communication, Memes are manipulation. Now, it worth noting that the majority of memes are “cute kitten” type memes, as Ethan Zuckerman has written about here: “The Cute Cat Theory ….” […]

    Pingback by Memes & Viral Videos! | Memes, Facebook’s Moral Relativism . . . Pre-Linguistic Westerners – Dissident Voice — January 26, 2014 @ 2:59 pm

  220. […] “Meme “was a word coined by Richard Dawkins I believe, back in the ’80s, to describe how ideas spread or metastasized through societies, or sub categories of society. I’m not here to write a history of internet meme evolution, but to suggest that the posting of memes, those already created for you, is suggestive of intellectual atrophy, and that the entire construct of social media lends itself to this form of non communication, Memes are manipulation. Now, it’s worth noting that the majority of memes are “cute kitten” type memes, as Ethan Zuckerman has written about here: “The Cute Cat Theory ….” […]

    Pingback by Memes, Facebook’s Moral Relativism . . . Pre-Linguistic Westerners  Dark Politricks — January 26, 2014 @ 5:00 pm

  221. […] Blocking banal content on the internet is a self-defeating proposition. It teaches people how to become dissidents – they learn to find and use anonymous proxies, which happens to be a key first step in learning how to blog anonymously. Every time you force a government to block a web 2.0 site – cutting off people’s access to cute cats – you spend political capital. Our job as online advocates is to raise that cost of censorship as high as possible.” -from ethanzuckerman.com […]

    Pingback by From Cat Killers to Kitty Activism | fringejoyride — March 7, 2014 @ 4:12 pm

  222. […] – Ethan Zuckerman in seinem Aufsatz “The Cute Cat Theory” […]

    Pingback by Cat-mania im Internet – die Katze beherrscht das Web 2.0 | detektor.fm — June 6, 2014 @ 5:41 am

  223. Hi Mr. Zuckerman,
    My name is Cynthia from Kenya.I just want to say thank you for your research and work in online activism. I just finished my dissertation for my masters degree and I used the cute-cat theory as my theoretical framework.It was very well received and even suggested that if I were to pursue a doctorate degree, this would be a very suitable area of research for me. My topic was ‘Internet memes and civic activism: a case study of Kenyan ‘Free laptop pledge’ memes on facebook. Anyway, your blog is extremely insightful and all the best in everything I guess. God bless you.

    Comment by Cynthia — June 12, 2014 @ 4:42 am

  224. […] My Heart’s in Accra (2008) The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech [online] available from <http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/03/08/the-cute-cat-theory-talk-at-etech/&gt; […]

    Pingback by Dissertation | Jasper's Portfolio — June 18, 2014 @ 8:22 am

  225. […] That mixed picture is epitomised by the brave, inventive and smart Tunisian activist Astrubal. He made wonderful use of social media to crowdsource, document and map the extravagant use of an official government jet to take Tunisia’s First Lady on expensive shopping trips around Europe. Shared photos from plane spotters in many different companies were added to Google Earth to produce an effective and plausible video that turned abstract complaints about indulgent waste at the top into specific evidence. […]

    Pingback by The Arab Spring, social media and lessons for future revolutionaries | MHP Communications — August 27, 2014 @ 8:33 am

  226. […] protected resource for people who do use them to organise politically. Similarly, with a name like ‘Cute Cat Theory,’ how could I not want to find out […]

    Pingback by House of Cats | phlebuspoetry — September 5, 2014 @ 1:57 am

  227. […] PBS Ideas’ Is the Internet Cats?  Also here. And here. And here. Also Ethan Zuckerman’s Cute Cat Theory of the Internet), so it seems appropriate that my first post on Interrobang addresses this prolific, if not […]

    Pingback by Secrets and cats | Interrobang — October 4, 2014 @ 2:16 am

  228. […] Ethan Zuckerman: Zuckerman talking cute cat theory and here writing about it. […]

    Pingback by fb is for activists / fb is not for activists | Interrobang — December 5, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

  229. […] about calling an alert a “cat-signal”, referencing Ethan Zuckerberg’s “Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism” post, which says that users who are into posting videos and stories about cats will pay more […]

    Pingback by Reddit, Imgur, and others join the Internet Defense League | Newb WiredNewb Wired — March 29, 2015 @ 10:52 pm

  230. […] tools were made in the idea of sharing pictures, such as pictures of cats mentioned in the web blog “The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism”, activist saw it as a way to network. “Activism is a stronger test – if activists are using […]

    Pingback by A New form of Activism. – Issues in Cyberspace 2015 — April 1, 2015 @ 12:59 am

  231. […] an effective and plausible video that turned abstract complaints about indulgent waste at the top into specific evidence. And yet … this was done in 2007. Ben Ali did not fall until 2011. Did the work of Astrubal and […]

    Pingback by Social media has been used to influence national politics, the Arab Spring, social media and lessons for future revolutionaries. | silenderblog — April 27, 2015 @ 2:47 am

  232. […] The Cute Cat Theory […]

    Pingback by iwishicoulddescribeittoyoubetter/collaboration/archive — June 10, 2015 @ 11:45 am

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