The emergence of social software and the new perception of the Internet promise to enable decentralized actions, a range of possibilities to share and exchange information open and free of charge, to collaborate equally, and to foster intercultural understanding and participation. These new possibilities have the potential to lay the foundation for a new way of political participation and social movements to emerge, but there are also limits because of existing social structures and increasing commercialisation of the Internet. In this paper we discuss theoretical concepts that we currently state as characteristics of political activism and the Internet in general, and of social software in particular:  the foundation for community building,  the interrelation of the real and the virtual space,  digital divide and social inequalities, and  the influence of globalisation. The Internet provides the foundation for communities to emerge and to shape society, for both societal benefits (e.g. empowerment of citizens, ecological conservation, democratisation and participation) as well as negative consequences (e.g. social inequalities, digital divide). Based on these four concepts we outline recommendations for inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), i.e. possibilities social software theoretically offers for social movements, political activism and participation.
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