Assignment 5: Egypt’s Revolution and Online Social Media
Technology ranging from the printing press to the internet, have been used as a tools for spreading ideas and information for centuries in many major protests and revolts throughout modern history. The protestors in the most recent revolution in Egypt have largely attributed their success to their ability to communicate their thoughts to large audiences quickly using modern social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Through the use of these platforms, supporters were able to use the platforms to upload videos, share ideas and opinions, and organize protests with the large online community. Organizers were able to use Facebook to create a page opposing the corrupt Egyptian government, which allowed supporters to create a forum to openly discuss their feelings with others who felt the same way. Twitter was used in a similar way to instantaneously share information on things happening during the protest.
The social platforms allowed Egyptians and others involved , to understand each other’s opinions about the situation eliminating the “either or ” framework discussed in “Digital Media Ethics.” The willingness of those involved to use these platforms shows that the culture of Egypt’s youth are well versed in their ability to communicate in the online world. I would also argue that access to the internet has allowed those involved to branch out from the brainwashing garbage that their governments produce and make them cosmopolitans, as is mentioned in the video “Cairo’s Facebook Flat.”
Since the revolution largely attributes it success to the ability of protestors to communicate over the internet, it should be noted that that day after the “Day of Anger” the Egyptian government shut down all internet traffic in and out of Egypt, as well as cell phone calls and messaging services in order to quench the protests. Now that is a bunch of crap for any government to be able to control means of communications, and should stand out as an issue whenever the issue of governments having control over certain aspects of the interned are discussed. To learn more about this watch the video below:
The online world has opened new doors for the free exchange of ideas and opinions throughout the world. If only the White Rose group in Munich, who relied on distributing printed leaflets to protest the Third Reich, during World War Two could have had access to such means of distributing information, countless lives might have been spared.