Topic #9

http://new-middle-east.blogspot.com/2011/04/social-media-force-for-political-change.html

The role of technology, more specifically social media has been very helpful in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Facebook and Twitter have allowed the message to spread throughout the country and the world and it lead to the resigning of former president Husni Mubarak. Some people may feel that the hype around social media websites is negative and leads to unnecessary movements like Occupy Wall Street. Others believe that social media is a way for people to voice their opinions publicly and legally. Using websites like Facebook and Twitter allow for peaceful uprisings and protests without protesting in the streets slowly gathering supporters. Once it is clear that a Facebook page declaring some kind of protest gains enough followers it becomes clear that the next logical step is to gather all of the supporters together in one spot to voice their opinions.

The 2011 Egyptian “Facebook Revolution” was preceded by the 2009 “Twitter Revolution” in Iran. With both of these revolutions social media played a few important roles in successfully spreading the word of the revolution in Egypt and Iran. Social media helped to spread the word about the political problems each country had at the time. Because the word was spread over the internet the process was more peaceful then it would have been if people had taken to the streets earlier. Social media also allowed people to debate with large amounts of people without having to get together in large groups. The article says that in Egypt it had been illegal for groups of five or more people to meet. Lastly, social media helped aid the Egyptian and Iranian Revolutions because it allowed people to plan their protests very easily and anonymously. Shoot a quick e-mail or Facebook message to a few hundred people and done, a gathering at a certain place has been planned for a specific time.

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