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Occupy Wall Street on the Public Screens of Social Media: The Many Framings of the Birth of a Protest Movement


Corresponding author: Kevin M. DeLuca; e-mail:


Amid a dizzying array of social media, the ground of activism has fractured into decentered knots creating a cacophony of panmediated worlds. Our analysis of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) offers a preliminary charting of the fragmenting of the old media world into a proliferation of social media worlds. On old media, OWS was stillborn, first neglected, and then frivolously framed. On social media, OWS's emergence was vibrant, its manifestations much discussed, celebrated, and attacked. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube create new contexts for activism that do not exist in old media. Plus, social media foster an ethic of individual and collective participation, thus creating a norm of perpetual participation. In OWS, that norm creates new expectations of being in the world.