Local–Digital Activism: Place, Social Media, Body, and Violence in Changing Urban Politics

Hadas Zur*, Tali Hatuka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies demonstrate how violence, social media, and protest intertwine. This article complements this body of knowledge and indicates how social media enables new modes of small-scale protest events and how it is being used by right-wing and middle-class groups to influence urban politics. The article conceptualizes local-digital activism as a particular form of protest that is based on a hybrid framework of action that entangles physical actions in public space with virtual acts of dissent, creating embodied digital activism in specific locales. The key arguments are threefold: (1) local–digital activism initiates a particular framework of action that is embedded in digital culture and can be used by different ideological groups. (2) The approach to place in this type of dissent is central and manifold, with physical and virtual spaces codefining one another. (3) Triggering violent encounters and using violent representations in place is strategic and intentional, a means to expand visibility on digital platforms. Empirically the article analyses two groups in South Tel Aviv, presenting their protest strategies and tactical use of place, digitization, violence, and the body in creating the iconography of the “other in the place.” The study is based on geographic and ethnographic work, in-depth interviews (N = 24) with various actors, and social media content analysis (videos = 72, posts = 210). The final discussion addresses the characteristics of local-digital activism and its role in urban political struggles and offers paths for future research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Media and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2023


  • dissent
  • neighborhood
  • protest
  • scale
  • urban conflicts


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