Over the past decade, a growing movement of politically engaged designers and engineers has been quietly building technical infrastructure for contemporary protest movements. The efforts of these "contestational designers" have largely gone unrecognized by the mainstream technology development community. A slew of articles and books in both the academic and popular press describe the impact of websites, blogs, mobile phones, and the like on political activism, but the dominant narrative assumes a nearly effortless transition between the appearance of new technologies and their adoption by activists. Technology use by activists is generally presented as simply another form of consumer…
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