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CROWDSOURCING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: THE CASE OF BRIGHTER PLANET

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Abstract:

Online social networks provide opportunities for users to engage in activities with social and environmental purpose. Global focus on combating climate change has positioned the role of the citizen as a significant component in reducing environmental harm. This paper explores the ways in which individuals are responding to these realities through web 2.0 platforms. Presenting a case study of current practices in crowdsourcing, this paper demonstrates that crowdsourcing for the environment has the potential to enable users to address environmental problems, however, democratic discourses surrounding this activity remain problematic. Among other conclusions, this paper finds that the melding of environmental advocacy efforts with networked communication and information technologies reinforces status-quo relations that magnify existing inequities between the information rich and poor.

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