#DIGC202 Case: #mena #arabspring and the social network revolutions

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”.

Image URL: http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Article/085242-2011-03-07-insider-descriptions-of-how-the-revolution-in-egypt-took-place.htm

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


3 thoughts on “#DIGC202 Case: #mena #arabspring and the social network revolutions

  1. To think that in the past protests wasn’t really effective around the world. Most government would just close one eye and let the protests be. But for the past few years, many protest has causes few President in the Eastern Arab to step down from their position. Indeed Facebook and Twitter is the main social media network that helps in the protests in the Arab Spring. It is funny that the past people hold up signs in protest of peace and harmony, but now people holds up sign with the sign of social media like the Facebook and Twitter. And everywhere around the protest everyone is twitting the incident as it happens. A good way to gain information.

  2. Who would figure out that Facebook and Twitter can be this influential when it was fist invented. There are actually many factors that cause Facebook and Twitter as a platform for social activism. For instant, people today have shifted their traditional media to a new media services. Users in Facebook and Twitter almost covered everyone in the world today. Therefore, I’m not surprise that protestants use these two media platforms for their activism purposes. However, in Malaysia there were Bersih 2.0 and Bersih 3.0 uses the same method as well.

  3. According to your article, you stated that 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. Yes, it’s true. Nowadays more and more protestants use social media as a tool and method to organize protests and gather their supporters. Just like Bersih 2.0 and Bersih 3.0.

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