Social Media as a Tool for Protest. La cyberrésistance marque des points. First thoughts on Tunisia and the role of the Internet. News from Tunisia looks good.
For better or worse, many of us will be pondering the role that the Internet played or didn't play in the events of the Jasmine Revolution. Below are some preliminary reflections, which, if you know me well, are likely to change by the end of next week! One thing to keep in mind is that revolutions will continue and Twitter won't go away anytime soon. Tunisia, social media and the politics of attention. Over Twitter, Sami ben Gharbia - who, I hope, will finally get a chance to return to Tunisia after his long exile - pointed out that social media did play an important role in "feeding" information to Al-Jazeera and France 24, conceding that at the same time it didn't have much of an impact on the coverage of the protests in the US.
Sami's remark made me think about my earlier blog post a bit more. My argument isn't really about the efficacy of social media in improving the coverage of the protests in the mainstream media (i.e. their venue, schedule, leaders, etc). What if Tunisia's revolution ended up like Iran's. (I am not a big fan of counterfactual thinking, but in this particular case it does help to generate new insights.)
So let's assume that the protests in Tunisia had eventually gone the way of the Green Revolution in Iran: the government stayed in power, regrouped, and began a massive crackdown on its opponents. As we know from the post-protest crackdown in Iran, the Internet has proved a very rich source of incriminating details about activists; the police scrutinized Facebook groups, tweets, and even email groups very closely. Furthermore, the Iran government may have also analyzed Internet traffic and phone communications related to the opposition. Now, Tunisia is no in Iran.
Quel impact d'internet sur la révolution tunisienne? Le Blogging en Tunisie : une révolution ou une évolution? Lebanon: Bloggers Support Tunisian Protests against “Arab Pinochet” This post is part of our special coverage of Tunisia Revolution 2011.
Lebanese bloggers have joined the chorus of concern over the Tunisian riots that have thus far claimed 24 lives. Sympathy and support is extended to the Tunisian youth protesting the authoritarianism, corruption, and poor economic management of President Zine el Abidine ben Ali, dubbed the “Arab Pinochet” by Lebanese blogger, the Angry Arab. The protests began after the self-immolation attempt of 24-year-old, Mohamed Bouazizi, in frustration at the country's high unemployment, soaring food prices and government corruption.
The Arab world is following attentively Tunisia's worst internal crisis in decades, as many Arabs empathise with the desperation felt by the Tunisian protestors. Tunisians Document Protests Online. Nawaat.orgAn image from a Tunisian blog of students in the capital, Tunis, who arranged themselves to spell out the words “No to Murder” in Arabic on Monday.
Updated | 10:55 p.m. As my colleague David Kirkpatrick reports from Tunisia, protesters there have been using the Web to organize demonstrations and spread news of violent clashes with the security forces in recent weeks. Last week, one activist and blogger, Slim Amamou, even managed to alert the world to the fact that he had been arrested by apparently turning on his phone and using Google Latitude to reveal his location: inside an interior ministry building in the capital, Tunis. The First Twitter Revolution? - By Ethan Zuckerman. Friday evening, Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali boarded a jet for Malta, leaving his prime minister to face streets filled with protesters demanding a change of government in the North African country.
The protests began weeks earlier in the central city of Sidi Bouzid, sparked by the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi, an unemployed university graduate whose informal vegetable stall was shuttered by the police. His despair exemplified the frustration that many Tunisians felt with their contracting economy, high levels of unemployment and inequality, censored media and Internet, and widespread corruption. Tunisia: Can We Please Stop Talking About ?Twitter Revolutions? - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty ? 2011. While the tear gas was still hanging in the streets of Tunis, many pundits were quick to christen Tunisia’s revolution.
Andrew Sullivan has asked (again) whether it’s a Twitter Revolution. Elizabeth Dickinson, among others, speculated in “Foreign Policy” that it might be a “WikiLeaks revolution.”