Role of social media in Tunisian and egyptian uprisings


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A selection of verbatim and analysis regarding the role social media played in Egyptian and Tunisian 2011 revolutions.

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Role of social media in Tunisian and egyptian uprisings

  1. 1. What role did social media play in Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions? 02/03/2010 @Internews Thomas Hémery – -
  2. 2. How are they connected?
  3. 3. “ We analyzed 52 million Twitter users, and discovered that only 14,642, or 0.027%, identified themselves as being from Egypt, Yemen and Tunisia. Of these people, 88.1% were from Egypt, 9.5% from Tunisia and 2.13% from Yemen ” . Source : Sysomos A few local users powered by global networks 80 M inhabitants 75% mobile penetration - 5% smartphone 23 M Internet users - 24% of the population 5 M Facebook users - 6% penetration rate 160.000 blogs 10.7 M inhabitants 85% mobile penetration - 13% smartphone 3,6 M Internet users - 34% of the population 2 M Facebook users - 16% penetration rate Source : Internet Stats
  4. 4. Social media does not cause social movements
  5. 5. “ The Tunisian revolution was barely covered by traditional media until Ben Ali fled, but the #tunisia and #sidibouzid hashtags allowed protesters to follow the events for the whole month beforehand . I think that further convinced us of the power each of us has to effect change ” @ alya1989262 , a 21-year-old Egyptian student who sent the first tweet with the # Jan25 Social media doesn ’t create social movements Social movements are echoed & powered by social media “ No one I spoke to in Tunis today mentioned twitter, facebook or wikileaks. It ’ s all about unemployment, corruption, oppression ” Ben Wedeman, CNN senior correspondent in Cairo
  6. 6. Social media changes the dynamics of social movements
  7. 7. “ the power of social media : synchronize the behavior of groups quickly , cheaply , and publicly , in ways unavailable a decade ago &quot; Clay Shirky <ul><li>Quickly : affects strategies, distribution of power and attention </li></ul><ul><li>Cheaply : changes the economics of social movements, increases participation </li></ul><ul><li>Publicly : changes/conflicts media agenda, gives new spaces for debate, roots global citizenship, increases transparency demand </li></ul>
  8. 8. Social media has become a condition for local events to turn into global news
  9. 9. “ It's not clear to me that social media played a massive role in organizing protests but I do think it played a critical role in helping expose those protests to a global audience , particularly in Tunisia, where the media environment was so constrained . &quot; Ethan Zuckerman, Global Voice co-founder
  10. 10. Social media has local and global impact
  11. 11. Local impact of social media Grassroots mobilization Organize the protests Counter rumor or propaganda tool Helped people analyze government statements Facebook played the role of community organizing platform The We Are All Khaled Said page (885 000 fans) first called for the Jan. 25 protests that sparked the uprising, playing a major role in breaking the barrier of fear that had kept Egyptians in their homes. Citizens used social media to identify and alert one another about the positions of snipers, police and looters . When there were concerns about water being poisoned, people sharing information on Facebook helped to counter that falsehood . When government went on TV, people went online to analyze what president said and to form a consensus on whether the positions met their requirements. B E F O R E D U R I N G A F T E R
  12. 12. “ I was thinking about Egypt. And I couldn ’ t turn it off. ” “ The story is on the opposite side of the world. I can ’ t smell the tear gas. I can ’ t hear the sound of Molotov Cocktails exploding in Tahrir Square. I don ’ t know a single person with any direct involvement with what ’ s going on in Cairo. But the story is on my television, in my Twitter stream, on my Facebook page, spilling out of my iPhone, everywhere. My screens are a mass of particles with a gravitational force that ’ s pulling in minute by minute updates on a story from across the world to the front of my mind . “ Dave Pell + “ Egyptians actively supported the Tunisian Revolution as any Tunisian national did: they launched DDoS attacks, they've been demonstrating for Sidibouzid, they shared information, they provided technical support… etc. And now Tunisians are doing the same for Egyptians. It's really a new citizenship . Egyptians are de facto Tunisian citizens . “ Slim Amamou + Global citizenship, care & solidarity Global impact of social media
  13. 13. Solidarity “ And I'm followed by a number of journalists, both in Egypt and outside of it, and some of the protesters as well. In many cases, they actively assist me, translating content from Arabic, tracking down documents or videos for me, helping me verify rumors , etc. So some of them have become part of my curation process . “ Andy Carvin, NPR Senior Strategist + “ International Supporters: How can we help “ #optunisia #opegypt #oplybia
  14. 14. Social media sets new rules
  15. 15. New demands & rights : Internet and social media have become a condition for civil society expression and organization New tools : open new battlefields New fears : Double edged nature of internet and social media
  16. 16. Social media opens new possibilities
  17. 17. Mobilization Raise awareness Control & infowars Representation/identity Globalization Data and analytics Facilitate mobilization and protests organization Have become a fundamental infrastructure for social movements Amplify the voices of a few Allow civil society to set the agenda Provide sources and witnesses to media Host conversation and debates Are more difficult to control than traditional media Opens new battlefields, building new opportunities & risks Dismissed the idea of an islamic driven revolution Give traces and metrics to measure/study social movements Globalize local movements Build global citizenship
  18. 18. Facebook &quot; Mr. President, Tunisians are setting themselves on fire “ 12 649 members “ Jan25, Jour de la Révolution sur la torture, la pauvreté, la corruption et le chômage “ 60 561 members “ Tunisie “ 630 582 members “ Autoriser Wael Ghonim à parler au nom des rebelles d’Egypte “ 287 439 members “ We are all Khaled Said “ 98 577 members +
  19. 19. “ Put vinegar or onion under your scarf for tear gas ” Links between Gene Sharp (the best weapon against violent repression is non-violent protest), Serbian activists, a google executive, Tunisian and Egyptian protesters and Muslim brotherhood + + “ April 6th youth movement “ 100 605 membres + A 2 years pan arab activist movement Trained by Srdja Popovic, the leader of Otpor ! Otpor is a non violent student organization that participate in Slobodan Milosevic overthrow
  20. 20. Twitter “ Twitter is an information-distribution network, not that different from the telephone or email or text messaging, except that it is real-time and massively distributed — a message posted by a Tunisian blogger can be re-published thousands of times and transmitted halfway around the world in the blink of an eye. That is a very powerful thing, in part because the more rapidly the news is distributed, the more it can create a sense of momentum , helping a revolution to “ go viral ” “ + #Sidibouzid #Jan25 #Feb17 #Egypt #Tahrir #Tunisie #Cairo “ We use Twitter to campaign and spread the word about protests/stands- hashtags are invaluable in that respect, and to share news quickly and efficiently, with our own 140-char commentary on them, and subsequently have conversations with random people/complete strangers . But most importantly, it allows us to share on the ground info like police brutality, things to watch out for, activists getting arrested “ Questions and analytics about twitter ’s function +
  21. 21. Social media and media
  22. 22. Social media autonomous zone “ Egyptian says, facebook used to set the date , twitter used to share logistics , youtube to show the world , all to connect “ @JaredCohen - head of Google ideas Social media vs. media “ Tunisia is so rarely covered by any mainstream media, and yet for several weeks I saw twitter and FB lighting up with one protest after another. “ Andy Carvin, NPR Senior Strategist + Media are controlled by the rulers. Social media are controlled by the governed .
  23. 23. “ Amateurs video footage are posted on Nawaat or Takriz , they are tweeted and RT , they are published on large facebook fan pages, they end on Al Jazeera and appear in international media articles ” Benjamin Barthe, journaliste @lemonde Social media provides stories/ witnesses to journalists Social media fuels the media On the day Moubarak resigned, social networks brought more traffic on Al Jazeera ’ s website than search engine . Source : Techrunch Source :
  24. 24. Media fuels social media “ On twitter #sidibouzid #tunisie #tunisia and #tunes became trending hashtags when international media started covering the events (on jan the 14th, 2/3 weeks after the first uprisings )  “ Source :
  25. 25. Produce/ Document/ Witness Distribute/Synchronize Identify/Check/Source Debate/Measure Globalize / Legitimize States and International Institutions take position and pressures
  26. 26. Voice messages to tweets Text messages to web based mapping applications Landline communication Transmission from satellite television to radio Satellite news broadcast of tweets Speak2Tweet Platform Ushahidi & Google maps Al Jazeera ’ s broadcast of Tweets on satellite news made it possible for the information feedback loop to continue French ISP FDN set up a dial up 56k connection during internet black-out Al-Arabiya satellite news fed its content to a radio, and as the satellite news was broadcast via radio Al Jazeera consistently publicized hotline numbers for Google ’ s Speak2Tweet system Success of cross- platform strategies Satellite news broadcast of hotline numbers
  27. 27. How does media and journalism changes as you participate in social media and have constant connection to what ’ s happening from people on the scene ?
  28. 28. Social media coverage, curation and real time narrative Andy Carvin + Asteris Masoura + Nawaat 24sur24 + Sources : Andy Carvin Curating the revolution building a real time news feed about Egypt + Ethan Zuckerman interviews Andy Carvin + <ul><li>Live tweet and live blog </li></ul><ul><li>Weave your network with local bloggers and twitterers </li></ul><ul><li>Expand your network </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor the tweets </li></ul><ul><li>Use twitter clients </li></ul><ul><li>400 tweets a day </li></ul><ul><li>Use storify to curate </li></ul><ul><li>«  It wasn't an assignment for work or anything  » </li></ul>
  29. 29. Infowar
  30. 30. Shut down the internet DDOS attacks Filtering of websites/pages Account piracy and stealing private data Hacking and phishing websites Infiltrate social networks Produce and distribute contents Government policy Access Data collection Monitoring and influence
  31. 31. 1. Tuesday 25 January 2011 - 01:30pm: some mobile lines shutdown including FDEP hotlines, and blocked in Egypt. 2.Tuesday 25 January 2011 - 08:0pm: network coverage in Tahrir Square shutdown. 3.Wednesday 26 January 2011: & are accessible (10:30pm), is blocked and some mobile lines are re-activated. 4.Thursday 27 January 2011 - 09:40pm: short message service (SMS) & internet connection shutdown (except one internet service provider (ISP) where the government moved on the stock exchange and financials process). 5.Friday 28 January 2011: landlines shutdown in some areas in Cairo, satellite internet connection is interrupted and mobile phone calls are re-activated. 6.Monday 31 January 2011 - 11:30pm: last internet service provider in Egypt shutdown. 7.Wednesday 2 February - 2011, 12:30pm: internet connection is re-activated. 8.Sunday 6 February - 12:35 am: SMS re-activated. Interruption chronology Cut off the internet & cell phones = economic suicide « La censure d'internet a galvanisé la population et l'a forcée à se rendre dans la rue pour obtenir de l'information&quot; Wael Gohnim, head of Google marketing for Africa and Middle-East 90 M$ Censorship
  32. 32. Google/Twitter speak to tweet Facebook protecting fan pages Twitter whitelisting heavy twitterers DDOS attacks on government websites Writing scripts to counter phishing Providing proxies Translations, sharing experiences Civil society reactions Corporate Anonymous Crowdsourcing
  33. 33. Afterwards
  34. 34. <ul><li>Among most discussed topics  on </li></ul><ul><li>We are all Khalel Said page : </li></ul><ul><li> Please, suggest your recommendations, ideas, guidance or advice for Our New Egypt!  : 145 publications </li></ul><ul><li> The new Egyptian Constitution  : 33 publications </li></ul><ul><li> Suggestions for projects to help Egypt progress and Improve  : 29 publications </li></ul>A wiki for the collaborative writing of a new Egyptian constitution + And then, a ren ’ t social media a better place for protest than construction?
  35. 35. Like tear gas, tools allowing to control the internet are built & sold by western countries &quot; Si les États-Unis et d ’autres gouvernements occidentaux veulent soutenir la liberté sur Internet, ils devraient commencer par interdire l ’exportation de produits de censure et d ’autres logiciels de filtrage vers nos pays .&quot; Sami Ben Gharbia
  36. 36. There is not a street revolution on one side and an internet and social media revolution on the other side. There is not a social media ecosystem on one side and a traditional media landscape on the other side. lesson #1 lesson #2