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Impact

The effect of a community's activities and actions need to be understood from perspectives of its members and the group itself, in addition to the impact of the action alone. Of course, we do need to consider the effect of the action a community or what Stephen Duncombe calls "results of cultural resistance."Duncombe, Cultural Resistance Reader, pg. 8  In our approach so far, however, we have focused more on the impact of those involved in the activity itself. For example, rather than ask only whether racebending succeeded in convincing Nickelodeon to re-cast Avatar: The Last Airbender film, we need to ask what effect the action of mobilizing around this issue has had on the group and its individual members, and their personal trajectories.  Did the act of mobilizing lead to an increased political awareness and sense of engagement?  How did the action result in a renegotiation of the group's identity?  In some cases, like with the HPA, the act of mobilizing resulted in explicit claims for political activism.  The Aang Ain't White campaign laid groundwork for Racebending, which has cultivated itself into a movement that can address racial issues in casting on scope broader than that of one film.  In other cases, as with the Living Room Rock Gods, it resulted in an increased group identity rooted in vigilance and knowledge around issues of copyright.  Driscoll explains, "Perhaps the most powerful product of the forums was a sense of collective strength and solidarity among the LRRGs. In the months following the campaign, users coached each other through the DMCA "counter-notification" cycle and many of the videos that were initially taken down were reinstated. These successes empowered the LRRGs to resist suspensions and takedowns rather than migrate to another site out of frustration." In another impact trajectory, Pricescope regained control by narrowing the scope of the community back down as it closed the ATW forum and essentially forbade political discussion, an act that, at least in part, contributed the subsequent creation of a charity. On the personal level, the depth of such change depends on the scope of involvement.
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