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The role of social networking in the Arab Spring

The role of social networking in the Arab Spring | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A case study for our World Development text book...

 

How useful was digital technology, particularly social networking sites, to democracy protesters in Tunisia and Egypt?  How important are the democracy protests in the Middle East and North Africa to world development?  Social media has fundamentally changed the cultural and political paradigms. 

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, September 3, 2014 5:00 AM

The role of social networking in the Arab Spring

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 1, 2014 9:40 PM

While we sit here on Facebook and Twitter for a way to connect with friends, share photos of our vacations or follow our favorite celebrities every move places in North Africa and some of the Middle East are using social media to change their country.  In countries like Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt people have used these social media sites to disperse information to the general public.  Where a rally will be held, a map of where police forces will be located, and what to do in the event teargas is used are all topics for discussion on social media.  With the use of these websites a larger group of people are able to take part in the overthrow of the government.  With leaders restricting the access to the web even more people were intrigued to join the protests.  When people can't follow along on the internet the events they decided to go take part in the events themselves.  With the use of these social media websites the Arab Spring in these areas was able to be as successful as it was.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 27, 5:27 PM

I think it is important that technology plays a role in these revolutions. Before, if a revolution happened, the dictator could just silence its population. Now the population has things like Facebook and Twitter to mobilize their plans of attack for meeting places and advice about how to confront the government. As such, the power of the citizens has grown and according to the article some argue it was this power that made the government officials in Egypt and Tunisia stand down. I tend to agree since the coverage of the event helped increase the size of the demonstrations.  

 

I love that these protests for democracy are being led by the citizens. Since the citizens actually want this type of government, there is actually a chance that this might  be what the country needs. As you mentioned during the Solar Diem video, what works for one society may not translate to another. The author of this piece is more than likely from a western democracy given how the author thinks "democratic change offers the only solution"  to issues like poverty and internal strife within "Arab" countries. Yet, that isn't the case in the Middle East. By forcing a democratic revolution on Iraq,  the region is more destabilized than it was under the harsh command of Saddam Hussein. As you mentioned in class, Iraq needed a dictator like Hussein to keep peace though. So as helpful as technology might be  for democratic revolutions, democratic revolution might not be the answer to every countries problems.

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