I chose this article because social media is a form of ICT and I was interested in how much of an impact these social media outlets and platforms have, not only in our personal lives, but in politics as well. Having lived in China, where many sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are blocked, ...
In January this year, Egypt erupted into mass protests, demanding the overthrow of the regime of president Hosni Mubarak. It featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil disobedience and labour strikes that eventually led to the death of 846 people, and left 6000 injured.
In the article, author quoted Yale Grad Student Navid Hassanpour and said that “The mass media, including interactive social-networking tools, make you passive, can sap your initiative, leave you content to watch the spectacle of life from your couch or smartphone. Apparently, even during a revolution.”
1) People who were unaware or uninterested in the political situation was now being affected 2) More physical presence in streets 3) Through new communication techniques, it was harder to control and repress protests 4) Sophisticated governments have realized that shutting down merely radicalizes things. Instead, “bandwith throttling” is more useful to governments- make the Internet less reliable and responsive, have web pages slower to load, video streaming takes a long time etc.
To put it another way, all the Twitter posting, texting and Facebook wall-posting is great for organizing and spreading a message of protest, but it can also spread a message of caution, delay, confusion. It is a conclusion that counters the widely held belief that the social media helped spur the protests. Mr. Hassanpour used press accounts of outbreaks of unrest in Egypt to show that after Jan. 28, the protests became more spread around Cairo and the country. There were not necessarily more protesters, but the movement spread to more parts of the population. In an interview, he described “the strange darkness” that takes place in a society deprived of media outlets. “We become more normal when we actually know what is going on — we are more unpredictable when we don’t — on a mass scale that has interesting implications,” he said.
“In Times of Unrest, Social Networks Can Be a Distraction” <ul><li>Andrea Chong, TWC G13 </li></ul>
ICT and World Change Past, Present and Future Past, Present and Future
“ The mass media, including interactive social-networking tools, make you passive, can sap your initiative, leave you content to watch the spectacle of life from your couch or smartphone. Apparently even during a revolution.” <ul><li>-Navid Hassanpour </li></ul><ul><li>Yale Graduate Student </li></ul>
Main Points <ul><li>Implicated many apolitical citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Forced more face-to-face communication </li></ul><ul><li>Decentralized the rebellion </li></ul><ul><li>“Shutting down radicalizes things” </li></ul>
Key Takeaways <ul><li>“Full connectivity in a social network can hinder collective action” </li></ul><ul><li>“Localization process”- movement spreading across a region </li></ul><ul><li>We become unpredictable when we don’t know what’s going on. </li></ul>