TOTW: Creating Online Anarchist Spaces
In the past, anarchistnews.org hosted an IRC chat for interested people to converse in real time, and we’re thinking of bringing it back. If not IRC, then something more modern such as Matrix.
Online spaces for anarchist discussion are seriously lacking, and although many anarchists denounce ‘tech’ because they believe it is harmful to our social relationships or because they don’t trust it, using anarchist infrastructure to communicate with each other surely must be better than using other social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. And although IRC and other alternatives may seem too obscure or technical for some, everyone can benefit from learning a little bit about how online networking and security works.
For those who don’t know, IRC users can create ‘channels’ based on topics. These channels could be reading groups that discuss texts on a weekly basis, or topic-centered discussions on green anarchism, prison abolition, egoism, or whatever a user's heart desires. They could be project-based discussions or event-based discussions. They could be announcements or calls for content. They could be workshops and skill shares. Or they could be real-time discussions of social dramas as they unfold.
Would you be interested in participating in an online chat like this? What are some of the uses you envision that could enrich our online communication while freeing ourselves from the grips of Facebook’s attention-hijacking algorithms? What are your concerns?
Relatedly, what are your thoughts about why these once-prevalent online anarchist spaces have dwindled to almost nothing? And how can we create online anarchist spaces that don’t suffer the same fate?