This week’s reading is based on, “Facebook and Twitter are just places revolutionaries go” by Evgeny Morozov. Facebook and Twitter is one of the largest social media used by millions of users every day. The new tools of social media such as Facebook and Twitter have reinvented social activism. Now with social media platforms of Facebook and Twitter, the traditional relationship between political authority will has been upended and making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coordinate, and give voice to their concerns. As mention by Gladwell, (n.d.) “The internet can be an effective tool for political change when used by grassroots organisations”.
According to Morozov, (2011) ”Perhaps the outsize revolutionary claims for social media now circulating throughout the west are only a manifestation of western guilt for wasting so much time on social media: after all, if it helps to spread democracy in the Middle East”.
Facebook and Twitter is reported as one of the main social media in playing an essential role in helping to organize protests and spread news in Egypt before the government shut down Internet access. Egyptian and Tunisian activists used social media, Facebook to brainstormed ideas on how to use technology to evade surveillance, commiserated about torture and trade tips on how to stand up to rubber bullets and organize barricade. “Internet access was (largely) free and unfettered in the nations of the Arab Spring; the Communist government’s control over its citizens’ internet activity was enough to quell coordinated protest” (Lewis 2012). Facebook and Twitter acts as a site of protest that gave these revolutions a focal point.
Even though Facebook and Twitter is used as revolution tool now, but as time passes, Facebook and Twitter may no longer be as important as it used to be, as some online audience may migrate to other new services.
Gladwell, M, 2010, Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted, assessed 26/10/2012, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell?currentPage=all
Kirkpatrick, DD & Sanger, DE, 2011, A Tunisian-Egyptian Link That Shook Arab History, assessed 26/10/2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/world/middleeast/14egypt-tunisia-protests.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0
Lewis, G, 2012, Why public spaces matter in the Twitter revolution, and how they are under threat, assessed 26/10/2012, http://internationalpoliticalforum.com/why-public-spaces-matter-in-the-twitter-revolution-and-how-they-are-under-threat/
Morozov, E, 2011 ‘ Facebook and Twitter are just places revolutionaries go’ The Guardian, 7 March, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/07/facebook-twitter-revolutionaries-cyber-utopians]
Think Big Editors, 2011, Facebook + Twitter = Revolution, assessed 27/10/2012, http://bigthink.com/think-tank/facebook-twitter-revolution