Social Media Lead the Charge
“In early January 2011, Slim Amamou, part of a new generation of tech-savvy Tunisians, found himself sleep deprived in a government holding cell, accused of supporting the overthrow of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. A week later, the Tunisian blogger and online activist found himself taking the oath of office as the country’s interim Minister for Youth and Sport. The world media was quick to highlight the role played by social networking websites in ousting Ben Ali, going as far as to dub the uprising a “Twitter Revolution,” named for the popular social networking website.
Amamou resigned the post several months later, but his temporary elevation from online irritant to government insider lent credence to the theory that social media, delivered via computers and cellphones, have been a force for liberalization in the Arab world. Across North Africa and the Middle East, websites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have allowed protestors to bypass traditional “gate keepers” such as government-run media and build alliances with like-minded reformers. In Egypt, leading up to President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation in February 2011, protestors congregated by the hundreds of thousands on Facebook pages lionizing victims of Mubarak’s secret police...”
Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “Social Media Lead the Charge,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 2, No. 4, 2011: 38-41.
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