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lecture: Resisting Algorithms of Mass Destruction

#NotMyDebt Australia

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When the Australian media use the word “clusterfuck” in headlines describing a Government data-matching program that’s sending people to debt collectors, you know you have a campaign the community will connect with.

Lyndsey Jackson, instigator of Australia’s #notmydebt, introduces the approach behind this collaborative social media campaign, and discusses some of the challenges, and rewards, of crowdsourced resistance.

#Privacy #Society #SurveillanceState

Big Data is becoming the holy grail for governments looking for immediate savings, future spending control, and saleable assets.
On paper the lure is enticing; and with a media that doesn’t do tech reporting well, the clueless public is an easy target.

Or it was.

Australia’s #NotMyDebt campaign began when Asher Wolf started digging. Lyndsey Jackson saw the possibilities and made the connection; she used the Government’s own Drupal distribution to build a website, which Asher promoted directly to volunteers, and the concept caught like wildfire.

Within three days the website and social media channels were built; on day four the holidays ended and it was front page news and a media storm. The community’s gloves were off, and everyone wanted in.

The policy began to unravel.

In public the Government stood firm, but inside Parliament House the debt collectors were pulled back and a Senate inquiry was triggered.
People wanted to know more, they wanted to participate, and they cared. Over 200 people volunteered.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
Women that had never used a CMS learnt how to manage and run a sophisticated campaign.

The conversation on social media continues, and the pressure is still on. But for too many, ignorance is still… not bliss, but vulnerability.