Social Media Revolution?

Posted: April 10, 2011 by Maria Acle in Uncategorized

Facebook groups and tweets initiated what some now call a “social media revolution” in Egypt.

While people started the revolution there is now doubt that social media tools have helped speed up the process. The best example of the power of this tool was seen when, back in August, a protestor, Khaled Said, was beaten by police and soon a Facebook group was created called “We are all Khaled Said.” A bunch of protest groups then started to emerge on Facebook.

Wael Ghonim, Google marketing executive was arrested during protests and was held in jail for 12 days. He was a key organizer of the uprising. Ghonim helped organize the “revolution on Facebook and Twitter and plans to write a book about the effect of social media on political activism called ‘Revolution 2.0.’” according to Los Angeles Times. He believes in the power of the internet to liberate a government.

The BBC says that it is the emergence of a new generation with a “vast number of the population being under the age of 30 who are technologically savvy and able to coordinate their protests.” Even the U.N. recognizes the effect that social media had on Egypt’s revolution. The American U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice says “governments are increasingly cognizant of their power.”

I do agree with this. I believe social media outlets have now become a tool for the people. However, the term “social media revolution” isn’t really appropriate. Social media tools have been used for the past few years as a medium to propagate ideas that different groups of people defend. They could be seen as mini revolutions. People began analyzing the impact of social media during Egypt’s revolution because of how massive it is. It is amazing the scope of the revolution, and a little bit can be seen on this video. It has been a while since a population of a country stands up against its government like this, and it is no surprise that social media tools were going to be used in that same way.

It is also interesting to realize that with revolutions like this one, where every person in that country is affected by it, we don’t want to watch the news alone. We need the constant newsfeed from the people themselves in order for us to decide what is right or wrong.

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