Mostly like other platforms, Spotify has raised some emotions during their reign. And I’m not talking about sobbing to Josh Groban or having 5 espressos with the latest Swedish House Mafia beat. I’m talking about angry mobs and mobilized petitions.
In 2011, Spotify announced that they would limit their future service for free users, and only paying users would be able to use the service full out, without commercials. This announcement received (9270)comments. On their own community (25838 replies) and other places, people rallied up (online) to protest this matter. No known away-from-keyboard-demonstrations were made. But with so many users taking stand with Spotify, arguing for their sake on these forums , the storm calmed by itself. Like a big sister lecturing her whiny little brother on how stupid he is. Another recent event was the release of the chrome-application Downloadify. Downloadify creator Robin Aldenhoven says in an interview he created the app to bring attention to incomplete encryption on the web player. A perfect excuse or a one-man act of activism?
But the biggest issue surrounding the music and entertainment industry has without doubt been the government’s unremitting moves to make the people more or less criminalized. The COICA, PIPA, SOPA, ACTA, and CISPA efforts sure have achieved some =(‘s. ACTA, being the only international preposition, received some feedback from the 2.8 million (dedicated?) Avaaz.org members who signed their petition, in just 3 weeks. People actually took to the streets in 200 cities all over Europe, fighting the EU’s decision to sign the bill without warning or consent. The US Congress with its SOPA-bill received an astonishing 14 million names protesting against it.
People seem on occasion to be pretty easy to mobilize. Or is it just the fact that a great pitch can sell sand in the desert? I, being an Avaaz-supporter myself, do encourage a(@)ctivism. I am impressed by the work and commitment from people like Jeremy Waiser of Avaaz.org or Sam Adler-Bell of DemandProgress.org who are working hard to defend our rights online. But I have no idea how many people actually know what they are signing when participating in these actions. The KONY2012-example, as pointed out by Henry Jenkins in his article The New Political Commons from 2012, shows that a large number of people easily can become zombiefied by a YouTube-video, without questioning the content. (I was one of them).
What happens when this is used with wrong intentions, and if that happens on a larger scale, will we automatically disregard other encouragements to activism in the future? People need to have a higher level of skepticism towards online content, and be able to make their own truths. A rule of thumb: If you don’t know anything about the advertised issue, don’t get involved, or do your research properly.
And as always: The Title Game