The digital virus spreads through the datasphere the way biological virus spreads through our body. While a virus nucleus, its message, is covered by”protein coat” , when it navigates, attaches and penetrates into the cells of the host body.
The protein shell of the media virus is the “meme” . It ca be an invetion,event,a music riff,visual image,system of tought,scientific theory etc.. as long as it attracts our attention. (Ruskoff, 1994, p. 11-12)The main element of the meme success is not irony but , to be mobile, easily replicable and well suited for the ecosystem that it has to travel.(Boyd, 2002)
Modern movement of social resistance have understood that the web is an instrument for spreading ideas and gaining global support but they had to become virtual organizations: without central office,archives or fixed membership.
They engaged in acts electronic resistance that differ from cyber crimes since they don’t destroy systems, but are programmed to disturb them. The Electronic civil disobediance, is a partecipative action from down below, that hits a software without anonymate and hyper sophistication.
FloodNet, is the example.It is a tool for web jamming created to support the 90’s protests of the Zapatistas community claiming the indipendence of the state of Chipas in . The FloodNet(work) targeted the URL of the Mexican Governament website and by refreshing and reloading its page for several times per minutes , blocked th site for an hour.Several error log spammed on the website, including the names of the dead farmers . It encouraged interaction between individual protesters that could send their political concerns with justice or democracy to the server error log thus causing the server to return messages like “Democarcy not found on this server” or the Error 404 page. 8000 people have been registered reloading on a Java Script.
Thanks to international partecipation on FloodNet Zapatistas farmers reached support in the information space that generated waves of protests from foreign journalist and activists .Zapatistas even received the support of the European Union that condemned the president Zedillo and invited him to re-initiate the peace process. The latest development laws like Plan Cañadas are focused on suppressing future upraisals of the area instead of improving quality of life, maybe is time for nother action of electronic civil disobedience .
Duncombe, S. (2002). Cultural resistance reader. 1st ed. London: Verso.
Thing.net. (2016). floodnet. [online] Available at: http://www.thing.net/~rdom/ecd/floodnet.html [Accessed 22 Nov. 2016].