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Breached: Social media penetrates barries to demonstrations in hostile regimes
 

Breached: Social media penetrates barries to demonstrations in hostile regimes

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A writing assignment for English composition II. This paper discusses some of the advantages and pitfalls to people living in oppression using social media to protest and resist that oppression.

A writing assignment for English composition II. This paper discusses some of the advantages and pitfalls to people living in oppression using social media to protest and resist that oppression.

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    Breached: Social media penetrates barries to demonstrations in hostile regimes Breached: Social media penetrates barries to demonstrations in hostile regimes Document Transcript

    • Running head: BREACHED 1 Breached: Social Media Penetrates Barriers to Demonstrations in Hostile Regimes Chris Harden October 28, 2013
    • BREACHED 2 Chris Harden Professor Johnson English Composition II E.S. 102 October 28, 2013 Breached: Social Media Penetrates Barriers to Demonstrations in Hostile Regimes The men darted past burning cars and the twirling sound of the bulldozer’s exhaust as the giant machine scooped people up into its shovel, the unlucky ones caught under its tracks (Abi-Habib, 2013). Sniper bullets tore into the heads, shoulders, and chests of men and women defying orders to remain indoors, and worse, remain silent (Abi-Habib, 2013). In Egypt and other parts of the Middle East and Africa, the internet is not a tool for placing bets, buying stocks, or making friends, but securing political change and humanitarian rights. People in developing and underdeveloped countries must have access to the internet to resist and defeat the tyranny of hostile regimes. The internet has developed unevenly throughout the world to create the global digital divide (Guillen, 2005). The global digital divide is the disparity in access to and use of information and communications technologies (ICT) between developed countries such as the United States, Canada, and Australia, developing countries, and underdeveloped countries (Qureshi, 2012). There is a belief that ICT can give people the freedom they need to lead the lives they value (Qureshi, 2012). Unfortunately, the lack of significant access to and use of ICT in developing and underdeveloped countries makes this freedom difficult, if not impossible to obtain (Guillen, 2005). Although there is no agreement in literature as to the root cause of the global digital divide, a significant contributor to the yawning gap is those regimes that possess an iron grip on
    • BREACHED 3 mass communication and the freedom of information (Guillen, 2005). Demonstrators have few resources and no institutional access to the regime, so public demonstrations are one of the only means available to impose some accountability on government officials (Bridwell, 2013). Nevertheless, holding a demonstration, whether organized or spontaneously, is a difficult and dangerous process for any large group of people regardless of their level of cooperation and coordination (Bridwell, 2013). However, when citizens in developing and underdeveloped countries have access to the internet, the results can be quite impressive (Bridwell, 2013). The role of cell phones and the internet in coordinating demonstrations that force accountability of government officials has been touted by many as a critical tool for advancing democracy (Bridwell, 2013). ICT via social media facilitates mobilization of demonstrations by reducing barriers to collective action (Bridwell, 2013). These demonstrations influence politics and produce negative inducement that motivates government officials to act accordingly (Bridwell, 2013). Critics of social media to create political change argue that ICT can and is used by regimes to monitor its citizens, even in private spheres (Bridwell, 2013). A single software program can monitor the online activity of millions of users and send that information to state agents (Bridwell, 2013). Though the cost of participating in a demonstration against a hostile regime can include job loss, harassment, and violent reprisals such as torture and death, the desire for people to enjoy the freedoms that developed countries enjoy is too great (Bridwell, 2013). It is imperative that these people have access to the internet as it is their only means to resist and defeat the tyranny of hostile regimes, for Woodrow Wilson said, “A history of liberty is a history of resistance” (Wilson, W).
    • BREACHED 4 References Abi-Habib, M, Elmergawi, L (2013, August). Hundreds dead in Egypt crackdown. World. Retrieved October 26, 2013 from The Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324823804579011880172936694 Bridwell, J. (2013). Twitter, texting, and street demonstrations: assessing social media’s political relevance for citizen empowerment. American Political Science Association 1(1), 1- 9. Guillen, M., Suarez, S. (2005). Explaining the global digital divide: economic, political and sociological drivers of cross-national internet use. Social Forces, 84(2), 681 – 688. Qureshi, S. (2012). As the global digital divide narrows, who is being left behind? Information Technology for Development, 18(4), 277 – 278. Wilson, W. (2013, October). Woodrow Wilson quotes. Authors_W. Retrieved October 26, 2013 from Brainy Quotes: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/w/woodrow_wilson.html