Week 13 Question

We have previously looked at the prevalence of Twitter in the Iranian revolutions. Some authors asserted that its influence was overstated while others deemed these revolutions to be modern because of the use of social media. The authors for this week focus on the more recent revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. Do you think that Twitter’s influence this time is truly as powerful as it has come off? Has the power of social media finally played a major role in inciting social action?

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2 Responses to Week 13 Question

  1. Nicole Taylor says:

    I think that as one of the authors for this week said, social media has played an important role because it has allowed for bridging of networks, but overall the connections that people have through formal organizations and informal groups plays a more important role. The strong ties that bind people together through their relationships convinced people to get involved in the revolutions, and social media helped facilitate this by allowing people to bridge the remaining gaps. I do think that it is easier to facilitate action through social media than it was prior to it. When email, chat and blogs were the only way to get out information it was much more difficult to organize groups. Now that social media exists, it continues to play an important role, even if it is only through weak ties.

  2. alurs says:

    I think social media has proven that it can play a critical role in inciting social action. People can downplay and overestimate the influence social media had, but the fact of the matter is that it was a critical organizational tool during the lead up to the protests in Egypt. Yes, a revolution could have happened in Egypt, but it certainly would not have happened as quickly as it did. Facebook gave Egyptians a forum to share awareness and this spurred the use of Facebook as an organizational tool for protestors to take advantage of. Without this social media tool, the protestors may not have been successfully organized.

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