CAP Event - Lessons from Egypt: Using Social Media to Map the Future Political Landscape
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CAP Event - Lessons from Egypt: Using Social Media to Map the Future Political Landscape

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John Kelly

John Kelly

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CAP Event - Lessons from Egypt: Using Social Media to Map the Future Political Landscape CAP Event - Lessons from Egypt: Using Social Media to Map the Future Political Landscape Presentation Transcript

  • Social Media and Future Politics: A Focus on Egypt
    presentation for
    Center for American Progress
    March 22, 2011
    John Kelly, Ph.D.
    Chief Scientist
  • Part 1:
    The Evidence is There
  • Egyptian Weblog Descriptions:
    • This is the blog of an Egyptian engineering student. He does not take himself very seriously, and describes himself as a normal person in his profile. His is critical of the Egyptian government, and singles out the popular Egyptian singer AmrDiab for criticism because he apparently performed for the Mubarak family.
    • This is the blog of a young Egyptian medical student who rages at the government of Egypt and the country's social ills. She writes angrily about sexual harassers, expresses her hatred for Hosni and Gamal Mubarak, and supports uprisings and strikes in the country.
    • This is the blog of an Egyptian whose interest is computers, the Internet, and programming. He promotes contributing to Arabic Wikipedia and writes about how he prefers to blog than work while at his office. Although most of his blog is apolitical, he promoted the general strikes in Egypt when they occurred, supporting the anti-Mubarak opposition.
  • Egyptian Weblog Descriptions:
    • This is the blog of a radical Egyptian socialist who writes about the turbulent workers' strike in Mahalla al-Kubra, union activism, and organizing peasants. He writes a lot about his opposition to Mubarak, torture in Egyptian prisons, and the need to end capitalism.
    • This is the blog of an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood member called BahebMisr, or "I love Egypt." The blogger is relentlessly critical of Mubarak, who he calls Abu al-Fasad, or "Father of Corruption," the kind of statement that could get a print journalist jailed.
    • This Egyptian blogger calls herself "WahidaMasriya," or "One Egyptian." She is a leftist associated with the Kifaya movement, and has the Kifaya slogan "down with Mubarak" emblazoned in her profile. She writes in support of feminism, against torture, and also speaks favorably of coalescing with the Muslim Brotherhood against the government.
  • Part 1:
    The Evidence is There
  • Part 1:
    The Evidence is There
    …and was there already by 2008
  • Part 2:
    Network Topology >> Political Landscape
  • Proximity Clusters:
  • Attentive Clusters:
  • Arabic Blogosphere:
  • Major Zones:
    Egyptian Blogosphere
  • Egypt Focus:
  • Egypt Focus:
    Human Rights/Kefaya
  • Egypt Focus:
    Secular Leftist
  • Egypt Focus:
    Muslim Brotherhood
  • Egypt Focus:
    Islam Women
  • Egypt Focus:
    Literary/Poetic Women
  • Egypt Focus:
    Culture/Family
    Human Rights/Kefaya
    Muslim Brotherhood
    Secular Leftist
  • Time Reports:
  • Iranian Blogosphere:
    mixed networks
    Poetry
    CyberShi’a
    Religious Youth
    Opposition
    Conservative Politics
    Reformist
  • Egyptian vs. Iranian Networks:
    Egyptian Blogosphere
    Iranian
    Blogosphere
  • Arabic vs. Iranian Networks:
    Strong division between secular and Islamist cultural and political zones. Two sides deeply antagonistic.
    Secular/Opposition
    Islamist/Pro-Government
    Egyptian Blogosphere
    Iranian
    Blogosphere
  • Arabic vs. Iranian Networks:
    Multiple ideological/political groups integrated via culture/family-oriented clusters. All sides opposed Mubarak, used “bridging” language.
    Culture/Family
    Political/Ideological Groupings
    Egyptian Blogosphere
    Iranian
    Blogosphere
  • Part 3:
    Bridges vs. Bases:
    the importance, and limitations of core elites
  • Attentive Clusters:
  • “English Bridge”
  • Arabic Uprising Followers Net
    Twitter Networks
  • Twitter hashtags
    #tunisia
  • Twitter hashtags
    #iranelection
  • Twitter hashtags
    #bahrain
  • Twitter hashtags
    #jordan
  • Twitter hashtags
    #tahrir
  • Arabic Uprising Followers Net
    Twitter Networks
    Tunisia
    Iran
    Egypt
    Transnational Elite
    Bahrain
    Jordan
  • Takeaways
    Key points:
    • Online coalition among ideologically diverse Egyptians was evident years before events of 2011.
    • Social media network topology reflects political landscape, can reveal evolving political forces.
    • Outside observers must be mindful of the difference between transnational social media elites and local “base” populations.
  • Social Media and Future Politics: A Focus on Egypt
    presentation for
    Center for American Progress
    March 22, 2011
    John Kelly, Ph.D.
    Chief Scientist
  • Social Media and Future Politics: A Focus on Egypt
    presentation for
    Center for American Progress
    March 22, 2011
    John Kelly, Ph.D.
    Chief Scientist