In a digital cry Occupy Wall Street is screaming ‘Viva la Revolución!’ with their new Facebook-like virtual stomping ground, The Global Square. The Global Square is the movement’s new virtual Zuccotti Park, a place where Occupiers can squat virtually — free from state and corporate intervention, they hope.
The Occupy Wall Street movement along with developer Ed Knutson created their own social networking site to keep it from prying governmental eyes. “We don’t want to trust Facebook with private messages among activists,” says TGS developer Knutson. This new electronic tent city aims to connect the various global Occupy movements, along with similarly politically aligned social misfits, drum circle-ists, hippies-who-finally-found-a-cause and Occupy supporters. Many (this writer included) are glad to see this virtual occupation finally materialize, as it was only a matter of time before someone like Knutson began to Occupy the Internet.
As the Occupiers go digital they are touting The Global Square as the ‘Facebook for the 99%’. An interesting claim given that with Facebook’s swelling numbers — the 99% are Facebook. The Occupy-driven social site launching in January of 2012 will include a Facebook-like social platform combined with a global mapping of the uprisings, a searchable listing of local movements, a Facebook-style news feed, forums for debate, space for collaboration, messaging, calendars, and more.
While many of TGS’s features are eerily similar to the ‘corporate’ social networks they distrust so much, there will be one significant difference: membership to TGS will require sponsorship. This virtual ‘sponsorship’ is designed to ensure that Occupy initiatives remain contained (and completely unknown to the rest of us) and membership is comprised solely of Occupiers. No posers allowed, apparently.