Proposal for a Social Media Strike this spring by Jasper Teunissen

Please feel free to spread, make objections, or contribute to it.

The concept is very simple: “Blocking” the communication on internet by sending out simple action ideas everybody can do offline in their own place. Why using the word ‘strike’ here? I think it’s time to re-define the meaning of this word by not just understand it as a “NO” and “LET’S STOP”, but adding a “YES” and “LET’S MOVE” to it. Anyway, if you have something better, let me know.

– to provide an easy way to many people to discuss our issues and join our movements.
– to attract attention to the wide range of alternatives we already have.
– to raise awareness for the mobilisations planned in this spring.
– to use and show the power of the diversity of our networks.

– it’s legal and peaceful, so everybody can join without any risk.
– many people love facebook and twitter, so this action is not directed against those corporations, it’s merely a symbolic way to occupy social media  by pointing at simple offline choices of daily life that can make a difference.
– the action ideas can be suggested by everybody, including local assemblies and friendly social movements (environment, gender, peace, etc)
– the action ideas can be adapted to local contexts, for example by adding links to existing initiatives in your area.
– the action ideas themselves should be radical and not just symbolic, in the sense that if many people would actually do it, it makes a significant change (with this action, I don’t want to encourage signing more online petitions and having mediations for world peace, but that’s open for discussion)
– this campaign is done without any money – only volunteers and free tools that already exist.

Some suggestions for actions
– today I prepare a meal for my family/friends with only local and organic products
– today I don’t use my car, but I walk, cycle or use public transportation
– today I make a sign about […] and show it to the world
– today I buy nothing, but instead exchange something without money
– today I transfer to a ‘fair bank’
– today I send a message of solidarity to […]
– today I get in touch with my local assembly to see when the next meeting is and think about my contributions
– today I go to my work to discuss with my colleagues how we can solve the financial crisis by laying off our bosses
– etc

What else is needed
– an easy-to-use tool to get local assemblies involved (a blog with a commentform?)
– a timetable, defining when and how long this action is going to be
– construction of a slogan/logo/trailer/introtext to build a “coherent campaign identity” (maybe something like “we are not working for the world we have, we are networking for the world we want”)
– contact groups that may be interested to support this (like Bank Transfer Day and many others)
– translations

This idea is not new, and there are some practical issues and limitations to be discussed.

Interested to work on this? I will present this proposal at the next meeting of our Actions and Alternatives WG on Sunday March 11, 20:00 (GMT+1) server:, room: round table. Meanwhile we can improve it and just start working. All we need is a good first list of suggestions for the actions, some designers, and a bunch of social media addicts, and when we feel we are ready: we just go.

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