Peaceful Reconciliation: The Effect Of New Media In Conflict Management

1350 words - 5 pages

Throughout history, the press has long been known for its didactic approach to educating and gaining supporters of a cause. Written by a select few, newspapers and news broadcasts have been inadvertently biased in their deliverance of current events. However, with this increasing rich pool of information coming from a network of authors, the internet has become the new portal to current events – throughout the world. Particularly, new media, such as blogging or “tweeting”, has had a shockingly profound and lasting effect on non-democratic countries around the world, setting a firm foundation for revolutions. It has introduced a world far more informational and accommodating, setting up a fundamental basis to spark revolutions around the world. New media allows a brief glimpse into democratic societies and cultures formerly unbeknownst to a people, triggering curiosity and anger strong enough to overcome even the most oppressive despot. Specifically, social networking is a powerful tool prevalently influencing peace building and influencing individuals to leverage resources such as Facebook, Tumblr, or Youtube to further prevent violence and promote peace among a nation.
For example, young protestors in Egypt successfully harnessed social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, to plan protests and gain supporters. This new realm of information allowed an estimated 20 million Egyptian internet users to distribute material and rally followers, thereby increasing probability that a movement would produce positive and permanent consequences. Moreover, YouTube was widely used to broadcast public demonstrations and shed light on the despicable militia violence. News networks brought massive attention to demonstrations of solidarity, while the Egyptian government struggled to manifest a nationwide media blackout in hopes of stifling the distraught and determined protestors. However, the government’s plan essentially backfired and sent protestors, even more enraged and driven by the government’s attempt to repress the movement, rallying in the streets against the dictatorial regime. This new media provided an outlet for a people who had long been silenced under the dictatorship government with an ability to communicate and inform in ways they could not have fathomed even a year ago, and provided tangible hope for a country long lost in the despair of oppression.
Another prime example of the effect new media has had on revolutions are the riots in London. Communities were angered over the death of a young British man. Family man Mark Duggan was shot on assumption that he had intent to do harm with a loaded weapon. (Similarly, uprisings in Egypt’s Tahrir Square were also triggered by the death of a young man – 28-year-old business man Kahled Said was pulled out of an internet café and brutally beaten by security forces.) Protests began as peaceful vigils, as citizens lined the streets with candles, but soon escalated to impetuous violence with...

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