For the last month my trending topics have included terms which relate to the events in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and now Libya, but can the recent events in Tunisia and Egypt be described as the first ‘twitter revolution’? Here are some useful articles about the role of social media in the recent uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.
Please do suggest additional articles that help to understand the role of social media.
The Guardian’s Peter Beaumont in The truth about Twitter, Facebook and the uprisings in the Arab world attempt a fairly objective look at the use of social media in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, and the contribution they may have made to recent events.
Malcolm Gladwell has taken some flack recently for suggesting that the revolution won’t be tweeted, an argument he picks up again for Egypt in his regular column in the New Yorker. Perhaps more interesting Wired UK writes David Kravets also argues it’s too early to call this a ‘twitter revolution’.
Charlie Beckett, Director of POLIS at LSE agrees that social media didn’t cause the revolution, but suggests that it ‘is now a useful indicator, if not predictor, of political change’. He has makes some important observations about the role of citizen media in telling the story of recent weeks.
Jay Rosen pokes fun at The “Twitter Can’t Topple Dictators” Article and suggests that they avoid looking at the bigger question about ‘how does the Internet affect the balance of forces in a contest between the state and people fed up with the state’. Over at Huffington Post, Jose Antonio Vargas has long article entitled Egypt, The Age Of Disruption And The ‘Me’ In Media which explores some of these questions.
Finally Oxfam’s Duncan Green had a go at looking at the broader drivers of change at work, including the importance of technology on his Oxfam blog and then followed it up with reflections on some of the comments.
h/t @timsowula for some useful links.