Focusing on Egypt January 25 http://www.youtube.com/w January 28 and internet blackout Sustained occupation of Tahrir and other squares
New Media in Arab Spring Starting from Tunisia, mass attention paid in Twitterverse Not only from US and abroad, but also from other Arab countries Different roles of the medium (will get to in a second...) Includes Arabcentric media ecology AlJazeera, AlArabiyya
Social Graph of @ifirka (Sami ben Gharbia) [source: giladlotan.com]
A Big Ado About Social Media Malcolm Gladwell – Small Change Jay Rosen – the generic Twitter Cannot Topple Dictators article Is the ado about... nothing?
Not if but how Zeynep Tufekci: There has been a false debate. Was it social media or the people? Was it social media or the labor movements? Was it social media or antiimperialist movement? Was it social media or youth? These questions are wrong and the answer is yes. The correct question is how.
But how exactly? Citizen journalism Internal and External Consensus Mobilization Action Mobilization
Citizen Journalism Internal Egypts restrictive media ecology External International solidarity Forcing IR community to pay attention
Citizen Journalism In a dictatorship, independent journalism by default becomes a form of activism, and the spread of information is essentially an act of agitation.
Consensus Mobilization Described by Bert Klandermans Attempts to actively mobilize consensus in a population Ideological work Frame alignment (Snow et al. 1986) Priming for action
Action Mobilization Other side of consensus – getting people to act Coordination and solving of traditional collective action problems
What happened in Egypt? Initial sense based on interview fieldwork this summer Coordination on January 25 Mutual assurance of protesting PostJan 25: citizen journalism Less consensus mobilization Dont have to convince people that Mubarak is terrible
Bottom line on social media Like everything, depends on context Media ecology Access Politics Contributes to specific processes
Whats Next? Regimebuilding Still fighting in Syria, Yemen, et al. Social medias role in the future of Egypt? Differing opinions: mobilization different from building institutions