The Political Power of Social Media
990 views | +0 today
Follow
The Political Power of Social Media
"What was the real contribution of Social Networking Sites (SNS) in recent Arab Spring? Do Twitter and Facebook get over claim for contributions to the movement? Is it possible to start a revolution through Social Media? How does SNS’s contributing to political campaigns within US including grass root movements like Tea Party? "” The later part of the question was dropped from research as Professor suggested to focus on one topic.
Curated by Navneet Palaha
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Navneet Palaha
Scoop.it!

Discussion and Conclusion

Discussion and Conclusion | The Political Power of Social Media | Scoop.it

The focus of this research was to study effects of social media on various contemporary political movements around the globe which includes Arab Spring. The first question was the reach and availability of SNS in places likeTunisia,Egypt,LibyaandSyria. I wanted to understand, in a nation where most population life on less then $2 a day, how can SNS effect public viewpoint. The reason for success of e-revolution was relationship between the SNS and satellite TV channels. Satellite TV channels came to Arab world 20 years ago and have deeper reach into the community. But these News channels relied on SNS to get their news during/before Arab spring. If someone posts a video of police brutality on YouTube, TV channels were quick to pick up the news and spread it across the nation.

 

Social media can connect you to millions around the globe with click of a button.

Recently I a young boy fromIndiastarted a Facebook page to get justice for his sister’s death.  She was murdered by her in-laws in for bringing fewer dowries. In few days he had about million people following that page and Indian TV News channels were quick to pick up the news and get the limelight on the case. 200 years ago, at the dawn of industrial revolution, newspapers played this role by getting the information out to the masses. In the era of information technology, internet is the new medium with unlimited potential.

 

Anonymity on internet, provides user the safety net which was absent in order mediums. Geographical independence was another important factor. The Facebook page started by Wael Ghonim posted “We are all Khalid Said”, is prime example how you can start a revolution from thousand of miles away sitting on US. Not everyone have to go to the street and fight, someone have to spark the flame of revolution.

 

I also presented the other side of the argument. How SNS can distort information. During Arab spring, the real issue of the people on ground (poverty, unemployment) was not issues in the virtual world (freedom, democracy). This may have adverse effects by giving people false hope of something. After one year of revolution inEgypt, Army still have the power and democracy hast delivered what people on ground have expected.

Another argument is people on SNS are not responding to the Syrian revolution with same enthusiasm as they did forEgypt. There could be various reason, fatigue with revolution news on SNS, lack of real reliable news sources to verify facts posted on SNS.

 

Social Network are just a tool of communication, they can get the word out to public. But they are not greater then the people who fight on street for change. SNS may have moved Arab spring revolutions early in time and finished them quicker and less messy but they don’t deserve a Nobel Prize. The censoring of user generated contents or buying out these social network websites altogether by rich dictators pose other real threat.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Navneet Palaha
Scoop.it!

Arab Spring and the social media

Arab Spring and the social media | The Political Power of Social Media | Scoop.it

This article focuses on connectivity and censor ship of social media. Saudi Prince Walid Bin Talal, who took a $300 million stake in Twitter. The issue of censorship becomes intriguing with news of Twitter agreeing to accommodate requests from governments and organizations to remove tweets that run foul of the law of their lands. The actual benefit of this 21st century social media revolution did not go to young generation who started the cyber revolution but abstain from being part of post revolution electoral process. But the real beneficiaries were the Islamist organizations like "Muslim Brotherhood". This may break the illusion of western democracies that their ipso facto democratic model will succeed in Middle East.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Navneet Palaha
Scoop.it!

Arab Revolutions and the Social Media Effect | Zahera Harb | M/C Journal, Vol. 14, No. 2 (2011)

This paper explores the effects of social media on Arab Revolution since 1990s including flux of out-of-state satellite news channels and followed by internet blogs. This article also compares the "free information" on satellite channels with information from social media websites.
During Tunisia revolution the TV channels had to catch up with citizen reports on social media. Author credits the social media as the "tool" for mobilizing masses. "The people were ready, the political moment came, and the people used it.” This article also compares the social media effects in Libya vs. Egypt. Egyptian youth had largest presence in Arab blogosphere compare to 4% users of Libya.
The TV channels acted as complimentary tool to get that information to those people who don’t have access to internet. New reporters were quick to pick up stories from Twitter and put them on news. This relation of social media and satellite TV news channels were effective.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Navneet Palaha
Scoop.it!

Arab Spring really was social media revolution

Arab Spring really was social media revolution | The Political Power of Social Media | Scoop.it

This provides us the hard evidence how the social media helped social revolutions. Dramatic increase in number of tweets regarding political situation in Egypt peeked on the day Mubarak resigned. The videos related to political situation topped on YouTube with 5.5 million views. There was indication of broader debates. The social media contributors were not only from Egypt, but from allover the globe. This leads to greater discussion on democracy and citizen rights. Above all, it provided opposition with common cause a joined platform to put their word out and topple these dictator governments.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Navneet Palaha
Scoop.it!

Did Twitter, Facebook really build a revolution?

Did Twitter, Facebook really build a revolution? | The Political Power of Social Media | Scoop.it

Could a simple text message, sent by enough people, depose dictators everywhere? How could police deny the murder of Khalid Said, when Wael Ghonim posted “We are all Khalid Said," and the viral distribution of a morgue photograph of Mr. Said's disfigured face. With development of new technologies it is hard for dictators to maintain mass silence. But on the other side all online activism must have an offline component. Movement also has to catch on the street. The reach of internet to millions in poverty is also a hindrance. The prime example is Libya, where the revolution was actually won with foreign military action on ground (indirect help by giving weapons and No fly Zone) compare to Egypt. Egypt has largest number of Facebook users in Middle East and in Libya less than 5% had access to internet. Was this the main difference to cause two different types of revolutions? The reach and availability of SNS is an obstacle in social uprising.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Navneet Palaha
Scoop.it!

When social media 'hinders' revolution

When social media 'hinders' revolution | The Political Power of Social Media | Scoop.it

This CNN article presents how dictator regimes try to curtail citizen’s expression on internet by shutting down the websites all together. Even Prime Minister of democratic nation western nation, UK, stated his willingness to take such action. Other countries threatened to arrest and prosecute bloggers, for spreading so called “rumors” on the internet. When Twitter announced their willingness to impose country specific censorship, they came under severe criticism. Google also face similar embarrassment when they agreed to censor Google searches in china.
Viral videos of regimes inhuman crackdown and atrocities on YouTube and Facebook lead explosive awareness, and regimes left no stone unturned to use digital communications to track and crack down on dissenters.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Navneet Palaha
Scoop.it!

Twitter, Facebook, and social activism

Twitter, Facebook, and social activism | The Political Power of Social Media | Scoop.it

I liked this article, because of its comparison of old time on ground real activism to virtual cyber activism. Author suggests social media can solving the little issues, but can not fix the bigger issues. He gives an example of Civil Rights movement, when you had to go in to whites only bars to protest. But with social media you can push many people on the edge to go to the bar. Above all social media can provide organizing power, but cannot provide the discipline and strategy. But call to nominate twitter for Nobel peace prize is plain stupid, and undermining the efforts of protesters on the ground facing bullets.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Navneet Palaha
Scoop.it!

Twitter Helped To Distort Egyptian Protests : NPR (Prof Srinivasan, UCLA)

This interview by Prof Srinivasan from UCLA, presents us the other side of the argument. For example, how user generated tweets of live rounds being fired inTahir Square, while there was no such activity. This message got retweeted thousands of time and became news on TV channels.  He also brings other important arguments regarding the issues. The issues reported on the social media websites were quite different from the issues of the ordinary people at ground. For example, An Taxi driver in Cairo was not exactly fighting for free speech or democracy, but for better life because the things have gone worse in last few years. Prof. Srinivasan also argues the revolution would have happened irrespective the availability of social media, it may have taken longer. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Navneet Palaha
Scoop.it!

Fareed's Take: the role of social media in revolutions – Global Public Square - CNN.com Blogs

Fareed's Take: the role of social media in revolutions – Global Public Square - CNN.com Blogs | The Political Power of Social Media | Scoop.it

Fifteen years ago all the media was easily controlled by tyrant regimes easily. Newspapers TVs, radio was all source of government propaganda. Before Social media, news network like Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya challenged the state’s monopoly on information.
This was later followed by social media of anonymous users. Twitter changed the equation further by changes information models from "one-to-many" to "many-to-many". It was fueled by cheap availability of cell phone which was basic necessity in nations with almost no infrastructure for landlines. They new "many-to-many" is hard to control, because there is not one source of information.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Navneet Palaha
Scoop.it!

Questioning The Role Of Social Media In Egypt : NPR

Questioning The Role Of Social Media In Egypt : NPR | The Political Power of Social Media | Scoop.it

Social Media cannot topple government. There have been great revolutions before the era of information technology. Not many people in East Germany even had a phone when the berlin wall was taken down. Similarly only 15% of Egyptian had access to internet. Most of the population lives at 2 dollars per day income. But it is the ripple effect of information which spreads it to every corner of the state.

. Social media provides dissidents with opportunity to speak to citizens of western countries. Social media is also vulnerable to infiltration. The internet blackout in Egypt by government, forced bloggers to get out on streets and protest. People realized the power of social media, when governed imposed blackou

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Navneet Palaha
Scoop.it!

The 5 Top Reasons Social Networks Lead to Social Revolutions

The 5 Top Reasons Social Networks Lead to Social Revolutions | The Political Power of Social Media | Scoop.it

Social media provides broader platform of like minded people. This article indicates the five basic reasons behind the success of social media websites in social/political revolutions. Geographical boundaries are no more relevant. User can be in free nation like USA and start a post on social media about "Free Syria". Social media networks make it easy to plan and organize. A quick tweet can reach millions and tell them the time and location for next rally. Social boundaries don’t matter on SNS. Your religion, caste, race are irrelevant as long you are fighting for same cause. The consequences of Free speech in middle east in past were disastrous, but an anonymous user on the internet is hard to track. Citizen can get their word out without fearing for their life.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Navneet Palaha
Scoop.it!

Syria uprising, Twitter, and social-media revolution fatigue.

Syria uprising, Twitter, and social-media revolution fatigue. | The Political Power of Social Media | Scoop.it

This article raises some interesting questions by contrasting the response of social media users to two different uprisings in Middle East.
From Iran uprising in 2009 to Egypt revolution in 2011 the number of tweets about revolution increased by 600%. This has come down significantly during Syrian uprising. If users on SNS care about human suffering then there is way more human suffering in Syria. May be the reason is the Syrian middle class, who are coming out openly against Assad regime. Author unwraps other important possibilities for this difference like length of conflict in Syria is very long compare to Egypt, reliability of sources on ground, very restrictive laws for foreign journals. Abode all there is hard data, which indicates the fatigue in case of Syrian Uprising.

more...
No comment yet.