Hacker politics and publics

In her article ‘Hacker Politics and Publics’ Gabriella Coleman talks about the different characteristics, that distinguish geeks and hackers and their political significance. Introducing the term digitally based politics she talks about Anonymous (‘digitally based protest movement’) and WikiLeaks (‘tightly controlled organization famous for facilitating whistle-blowing and publishing classified and secret materials’). WikiLeaks is primarily connected and associated with one figure Julian Assange while Anonymous is leaderless movement opened for everyone to join.images

In addition to that she talks about the representation of geeks and hackers by the media. Colman describes computer hackers as skilled programmers, security researchers and system administrators. While in contrast computer geeks tend to be less technically skilled but with great knowledge in digital media and also they have enough technical know-how to develop good video editing skills and designing skills.

Nevertheless both hackers and geeks describe themselves and formulate political claims using words such as freedom, free speech, privacy and meritocracy.

Coleman also describes the different way in which geeks and hackers are engaging with politic by providing us numerous examples. She argues that even if geeks and hackers share ideological sympathies they display a diverse realpolitik.

What I was thinking while reading this article is whether the hacktivism has future or not. And if absolutely anybody (possessing the right skills) could proclaim themselves for a hacktivists, what actually would mean to be a hacktivist?


Nevertheless I agree with Coleman abut geeks and hackers and the unique politics they have to offer us.

Yoanna Angelova


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