The 'Indignados' a Year Later
The 'indignados' (literally 'outraged') movement is an online civic initiative that emerged in Spain in May 2011 to protest against political measures to the ongoing economic crisis. At the time of its first anniversary, which was marked by another series of protests on 12 May 2012, much of its online (Twitter) activity was integrated into the global Occupy campaign and into the actions of the group Anonymous.
The data shown in this visualisation was collected as part of the OII's Leaders and Followers in Online Activism project to answer the following questions: has the structure and dynamics of the 2012 movement changed compared to the original protests held in 2011? Is the indignados movement integrated with the global network of Occupy protesters or does activity follow different patterns and local rhythms?
The data was collected as a follow up of a previous study by one of the authors on the dynamics of protest recruitment in online networks. We collected Twitter messages that related to the indignados movement using Twitter's public API for the period 30 April to 30 May 2012, which includes the date of the movement's first anniversary (12 May 2012). While massive demonstrations were planned for that day, this time the protests did not have the same media impact or manage to mobilise citizens for the same amount of time. Our API queries tracked messages using the most prominent hashtags that were used in the 2011 protests, in addition to new hashtags created for the 2012 campaign. The queries also tracked messages containing hashtags that were prominent in the wider Occupy campaign, which emerged in the United States in September 2011, a few months after the indignados protests; partly inspired by them but taking the protests to a global level.
This work was done as part of the OII's Leaders and Followers in Online Activism project, funded by Google.
Gonzalez-Bailon, S., Borge-Holthoefer, J., Rivero, A. and Moreno, Y. (2011) The Dynamics of Protest Recruitment Through an Online Network. Scientific Reports 1, 197. DOI: 10.1038/srep00197