Organic online politics: Farmers, Facebook, and Myanmar's military coup

Hilary Oliva Faxon, Kendra Kintzi, Mai Van Tran, Kay Zak Wine, Swan Ye Htut

Onderzoeksoutput: Articlepeer review

1 Citaat (Scopus)


Despite perennial hope in the democratic possibilities of the internet, the rise of digital authoritarianism threatens online and offline freedom across much of the world. Yet while critical data studies has expanded its geographic focus, limited work to date has examined digital mobilization in the agrarian communities that comprise much of the Global South. This article advances the concept of “organic online politics,” to demonstrate how digital mobilization grows from specific rural conditions, material concerns, and repertoires of resistance, within the constraints of authoritarian violence and internet control. To do so, we examine social media interaction in the wake of the 2021 military coup in Myanmar, an agrarian nation with recent, rapid digital connection that corresponded with a decade-long democratic turn. Analyzing an original archive of over 2000 Facebook posts collected from popular farming pages and groups, we find a massive drop-off in online activity after the military coup and analyze the shifting temporalities of digital mobilization. Crucially, we highlight the embeddedness of online interaction within the material concerns of farming communities, examining how social media become a key forum for negotiating political crisis in Myanmar's countryside. These findings call attention to rural digital subcultures as fertile sites of investigation and point toward the need for future scholarship on data practices that attends to rooted agrarian struggles.

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftBig Data & Society
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - jan 2023
Extern gepubliceerdJa

Bibliografische nota

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


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