I came across an NPR article, “Wael Ghonim: Creating A ‘Revolution 2.0’ In Egypt,” that was written in 2012.

In the beginning of class, we clarified that Ghonim was not the sole leader in starting the revolution, but this comment to the NPR article calls into question how vital social media (and therefore Ghonim’s Facebook page) was in igniting the revolution:

I heard from another egyptian involved in the uprisings recently that social media played a very small role in those events. that the bloggers etc woudl not take to the streets until the goveernment had cut off internet access. social media as a force for revolution is seen as a kind of fantasy of the western world. frankly it can’t even bring about serious change here.

 

I would like to think that there is much potential in uniting people through the Internet, but I’m curious if this commenter is one of those loud critics Ghonim referred to in Revolution 2.0 or if there is a grain of truth to what he is pointing to.

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One response »

  1. zainjazara says:

    I also constantly wonder about the role of social media. I disagree with the commenter. I think social media was a huge catalyst in the revolution from a very simple standpoint: it is the most effective way (I can see) of getting a message out to the masses as fast as possible. We can’t expect the revolutionaries to email or text millions of citizens; social media gets the word out to the most people. I would not say social media is necessarily at the core of the revolution, but I definitely cannot discredit its effectiveness. Yes, the government shut down the internet, but I predict that’s only after realizing its threatening power.

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