Critics would disagree with the assertion that hacktivist activities can be considered civil disobedience or justified by the cause that they represent. They counter argue that an indispensable element of civil disobedience is the peaceable means engaged to promote the particular cause sought to be advanced. Perhaps the most famous exemplar of civil disobedience during the Civil Rights movement was Rosa Parks. Pro hacktivists would say that their actions are exactly like Parks’ act of defiance against the oppressive rules that pervaded American society then. Anti-hacktivists would, however, vehemently disagree.
To emphasize the stark difference, critics would use the same example and engage in a Rosa Parks’ hypothetical where she, instead of simply refusing to give up her seat, takes it a step further – actually burning the bus in an ultimate act of defiance. THIS is the closest that hacktivism will get to being compared with the Civil Rights advocates of that time.
Hence, the chief argument of hacktivism’s critics is that it is NOT civil disobedience, rather it is aggression. Thus, it is not in any way justified by the nobility of its cause because in the end it will always be done at the expense of another. Where civil disobedience uses peaceful means, aggression resorts to damaging and injurious acts-just another form of vandalism in the guise of activism. Thus, we return to the Machiavellian question, do these ends really justify the means?
To be continued…
Nathan J. Marasigan, Entry No. 11