From Data Extraction to Data Leaking. Data-activism in Italian and Spanish anti-corruption campaigns


Abstract


This article investigates how activists employ Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and engage with data-activism in grassroots struggles against corruption. Based on a comparative research design that triangulates three qualitative data sources — in-depth interviews, movements' documents and participatory platforms — the article analyses two campaigns: Riparte il Futuro in Italy and 15MpaRato in Spain. In so doing, the article casts light on how activists engage with digital data, revealing how their employment is connected to and consistent with the type of organizational structure and communication strategy of the campaign. Moreover, the article evaluates how activists engage with three specific digital data-related practices — digital data creation, data usage and data transformation. Finally, the article illustrates that grasping the features of digital data-related practices also reflects how activists perceive and enact distinct ideas of active citizenship and data transparency in their fight against corruption.

Keywords: ICTs; accountability; anti-corruption; data-activism; social movements; transparency

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