Fragile movements and social media

This thoughtful essay by Richard Seymour offers a great summary of what I’ve written about as fragile movements, as part of a really interesting reflection on why Black Lives Matter hasn’t exhibited the same fragility:

In recent years, political movements and trends have come (and sometimes gone) with unprecedented speed. To name just a few examples: the indignados, the gilets jaunes, the Corbyn surge, QAnon, 5G conspiracists, and Extinction Rebellion. The diffusion of these trends has followed the classic pattern of the sigmoid curve, much like H1N1, or TikTok. Their rapid, exponential uptake has given rise to a certain giddy voluntarism among adherents, only to be followed by crushing disappointment when diffusion reaches its ‘natural’ limits and becomes slower than the rate of decay.

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