Technology Use in Social Movements

Priyank Chandra, Ashique Ali Thuppilikkat, Janna Akimova, Paridhi Gupta



The objective of this research project is to study the role of digital technologies in social movements. Specifically, it studies the role of digital technologies as technical infrastructures that help in informal coalition-building between groups and sustaining movements.


Over the last few years, we have seen grassroots campaigns and protests worldwide. Historically, technologies have played an important role in grassroots campaigns – before the Internet, it was printing leaflets and distributing cassette tapes. Recently, digital technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones have helped in the organization of grassroots movements, for example, making it easier to initiate campaigns and enrol supporters, along with coordinating resources and facilitating communication. However, technologies have also provided new avenues for surveillance and misinformation that can hinder grassroots mobilization and allow the State to disrupt any form of coalition building. This project will document how technologies are being used in social movements around the world. The broader objective of the research is to understand how we can learn from existing movements to co-design digital tools that can better support future social movements, especially in the face of state repression.



    Moitra, A., Ahmed, S. I., & Chandra, P. (2021). Parsing the 'Me'in #MeToo: Sexual Harassment, Social Media, and Justice Infrastructures. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 5(CSCW1), 1-34.
    Gupta, P., Petterson, A., Motla, D., & Chandra, P. (2022). Ladange, Adange, Jeetange: The Farmers' Movement and Its Virtual Spaces. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 6(CSCW2), 1-34.