Striking by Telegram, Avatar, and Geotag: Changing ICT Landscapes of Virtual Protest in India

Winifred R. Poster


Protest is often very much about place, even when it is virtual. This is apparent when examining virtual strikes via India over the past century: a telegraph strike in 1908, a Second Life strike in 2007, and a strike on FireChat, Instagram, and other platforms in 2019–20. This historical view reveals how Indian protestors who challenge the hegemonies of technology—from signalers, to software engineers, to data rights and antiracism activists—have been engaged in virtual strikes for over a century. In common, they have been linking physical, network, and digital landscapes as a key part of their strategy. Through this, they do the critical work of coproducing place in virtual strikes.



India, labor, strike, virtual protest, telegram, Second Life, landscape

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