Social Media and the Arab Spring: A New Revolution

This week in class, we discussed how social media can affect development. We examined how ordinary people were becoming activists during the Arab Spring through the use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. We also discussed how in Syria, ordinary citizens have transformed into amateur journalists through uploading content onto the internet. Upon examining these concepts further, I found this interesting YouTube video, that shows viewers how to livestream content with slow internet. 

The Arab Spring has created a new wave of internet content, that focuses social media in a way that is not merely for entertainment, but as a news source. Not only has this created new content, but it has globalized the protests in the Arab Spring. For example, famous activist/hacker group Anonymous helped keep the internet online in Syria, despite the Syrian government’s attempts to shut it down.

Social media has personalized the internet through adding a human factor that can connect millions of people from across the world, or just thousands in one country–as seen in the Arab Spring. This revolution of communication begs the question: what happens next?

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2 responses to “Social Media and the Arab Spring: A New Revolution

  • omahlerh

    What happens next? A greater impact from social movements and a more global awareness of other countries from the perspective of the people.

  • ohaberer

    I would argue that we should stop calling it the “Arab Spring.” That Spring is long gone and we are still witnessing collective movements of the people demanding their rights (as you’ve clearly shown here with Syria). I think Wael Rhonim, the Egyptian Google Executive who was the leader of the Arab Spring made a valid argument, “these revolutions would have happened with or without social media. It just the process easier and faster.

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