Participatory privacy

How privacy governs community boundaries and inclusion in online social movements


  • Madelyn Rose Sanfilippo Princeton University
  • Katherine J Strandburg New York University


Privacy, Social Media, Governance, Participation, Social Movements


Social and political movements increasingly depend on online platforms for coordination, publicity and communication, and development of knowledge resources. The March for Science, Day Without Immigrants, and Women’s March movements present a unique opportunity to comparatively explore how participation in online social movements is governed, given their similar timelines and exogenous influences, and despite differences in specific policy issues and membership. This paper employs large social media data sets, contextualized by organizer interviews and participant surveys, to study how commons governance of appropriate information flows shaped membership and group boundaries. Privacy interests intersected with online political organizing on social media to shape participation in the individual satellite groups and overall movements studied, as well as interaction and exchange of knowledge resources between groups. This paper also discusses participants as a unique sort of “resource” managed by knowledge commons governance.


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