The Last, Lost Empire: 3rd Edition 2012
by Ted Becker
So What Role Does the Internet and Social Media Play in the Democratic Amendment Process?
The early days of the Egyptian Revolution, in Tahrir Square
The photo at the top of this blog shows the early days of the Egyptian Revolution, i.e., “The Arab Spring” in Tahrir Square. Notice the laptop as one of the weapons of choice of the revolutionaries. Another was the cell phone plus its camera. One of those Egyptians who the Western mass media dubbed as a “leader” was an Egyptian Google executive living in Cairo. No surprise there.
A professor of Communications at the University of Washington did a quantitative analysis of the role of social media before and during this massively popular uprising and here is part of what he found: “During the week before Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s resignation, for example, the total rate of tweets from Egypt — and around the world — about political change in that country ballooned from 2,300 a day to 230,000 a day. Videos featuring protest and political commentary went viral – the top 23 videos received nearly 5.5 million views. The amount of content produced online by opposition groups, in Facebook and political blogs, increased dramatically.” Read more about this here: New study quantifies use of social media in Arab Spring
So does this translate into pro-democracy movements in the West, such as the “Occupy Movement” in the USA and elsewhere? Obviously. Here’s an article from the May 1, 2012 edition of (ironically) Bloomberg News on the use of social media by #Occupy Wall Street in its planning and organization of various protest activities throughout the United States and all the way to Sydney, Australia. Occupy Wall Street Plans Global Protests in Resurgence