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Social Media As A Springboard To Social Reform: Egypt And The Arab Spring

2393 words - 10 pages

In many countries of the Middle East and North African region there has been revolutions, characterized by their efficiently, speed, and organization; these factors all attributed to social network. In order to understand why social media sites (SNS) played such a major role in the Arab Spring we must first understand what specifically constitutes as a social media site, the reasons behind the protests in the first place and the ways it which SNS were used. Only after these bases are covered can we then begin to see the significance of such utilities today and in the near future. In Tunisia and Egypt, we have witnessed a new genre of revolution whose distinguishing feature lies in its organization by networks and particularly in social networks, which played an important informational and organizational role (Allagui and Kuebler, 2011).
The essential Social Network Sites (SNS) are the core, web sites that help bring people together. Websites like Facebook and Twitter are a few of the fastest growing resources on the Internet. Most of these sites work in the same way; they relay on users for their content, they allow people to interact with one another, the foster relationships, and they are more heavily focused on the feelings of people rather than factual news representation.
Social Network Sites, while not dependent on facts for news stories, still give a user access to a broader range of current events and goings-on that they not normally be aware of, or couldn’t find else where as well as unique perspectives on almost any given topic. Many mainstream news stations such as FOX, BBC, and Al-Jazzera use SNS to gain information on current events and stories, in difficult to get to locations or situations which might not be ideal to send a reporter into.
These platforms make instantaneous transmission possible. They lends themselves to politics in that they effectively eliminate the need for a face or symbol to rally behind, rather giving the idea that is concerned it’s own voice. An idea is inherently incorruptible, it cannot be persuaded, or led astray as a leader of a movement can be. SNS also increase the speed and range of the movement. With the ability to communicate with people on the other side of the global quickly, the entire dynamic of a rebellion has changed. The ability to call attention to itself and gain the support of individuals, especially those in positions of power, can greatly alter the influence leveraged in favor or against certain entities.
Such sites gave people the opportunity to gather virtually in discussion of the events and facts surrounding the protests. Sites like this helped to make real time information more accessible and less expensive. Because of the cost, speed, and reach afforded to the individual by these sites they were used for coordination, planning, and action that gave the protest and revolution a more cohesive plan of action and ultimately resulted in extreme effectiveness.
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