Lau social media_presentation


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This was presented to Com Arts students at the Lebanese American University on 29 September 2011

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Lau social media_presentation

  1. 1. The Revolution Behind The Revolution The Role of Social Media During the Arab Spring Faisal J. Abbas 29 September 2011
  2. 2. Things Are Changing!!! Please TURN ON your smart-phones… If tweeting, please mention @faisal_abbas
  3. 3. Revolutions: What we know about them <ul><li>Have always occurred through human history </li></ul><ul><li>Happened before ‘social media’ was invented </li></ul><ul><li>Are not specific to one culture/nation </li></ul><ul><li>If successful, will result in either a complete change from one constitution to another or a modification of an existing constitution. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Revolutions: Common Reasons behind them <ul><li>Economic downturns </li></ul><ul><li>Repressive autocratic regimes </li></ul><ul><li>A surplus of the dispossessed </li></ul><ul><li>High levels of corruption </li></ul><ul><li>Blocking expression of frustration and dissent </li></ul><ul><li>All of the Above (as in most Arab countries!) </li></ul>
  5. 5. So the question is… What is different about the 2011 Arab Revolutions?
  6. 6. … And where do we find answers these days?
  7. 7. “ To those in power: you are facing a generation which communicates in a way you don’t understand” - Google’s Wael Ghonim - Political Activist/Egypt Interview with Al Arabiya 11.2.2011
  8. 8. Yet, ‘Those in Power’ seem to only want to communicate their way
  9. 9. The ‘Those in Power’ Traditional Communication Model Owned/Sponsored Media ‘ Those in Power’ (Autocratic Leaders) People
  10. 10. However, the dynamics have been changing since the 90’s thanks to Satellite Television and broadband ‘ Those in Power’ (Autocratic Leaders) People Owned/Sponsored Media
  11. 11. … and this is just the beginning! The following are the latest estimates* <ul><li>40 million Arab internet users in 16 Arab countries in 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>17 million people in the Arab region on Facebook, 5 million in Egypt alone in 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>In 2009, Arab region had 35,000 active blogs, up to 40,000 in 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Arab users expected to rise to 100 million by 2015 </li></ul><ul><li>*Centre for International Media Assistance/National Endowment for Democracy, 2011. Social Media in the Arab World Report. [online] Washington,D.C: CIMA (Published 2011) </li></ul><ul><li>Available at: <http://> [Accessed 20 February 2011]. </li></ul>
  12. 12. So what was the ‘contribution’ of ‘social media’? <ul><li>People don’t just watch a story on TV or read it in a paper anymore. </li></ul><ul><li>People have instant and on-demand access to a story or video </li></ul><ul><li>People ‘interact’: they comment, share, create ‘groups’ and ultimately ‘events’. </li></ul><ul><li>People can compare facts and leapfrog government censorship </li></ul>
  13. 13. Thus, it could be argued that the ‘social media’ main contribution is speeding up the ‘Domino Effect’
  14. 14. Case-Study <ul><li>Look at how quickly the ‘self-immolation’ phenomena has spread since one man set himself on </li></ul><ul><li>fire in Tunisia </li></ul><ul><li>on 17 December 2010? </li></ul>Mohammad Bouazizi 1984 - 2011
  15. 15. Final Word “ The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had” - Eric Schimdt – CEO, Google (August 2010)
  16. 16. One thing is for sure, we could never know what to expect next!
  17. 17. Thank You! Keep in touch: Email: [email_address] Twitter: faisal_abbas Facebook Page:   Huffington Post: