To deepen our understanding of the relationship between social media and political change during the Egyptian uprising of early 2011, events in Tahrir Square must be situated in a larger context of media use and recent history of online activism. For several years, the most successful social movements in Egypt, including Kefaya, the April 6th Youth, and We are all Khaled Said, were those using social media to expand networks of disaffected Egyptians, broker relations between activists, and globalize the resources and reach of opposition leaders. Social media afforded these opposition leaders the means to shape repertoires of contention, frame the issues, propagate unifying symbols, and transform online activism into offline protests. Continue reading
This is not an in-depth analysis. Just a rant for now.
The day Mubarak fell, NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel Tweeted the photo below, telling the world about an Egyptian protester holding a sign that said, “Thank you, Facebook.” The photo has been viral since then and has become a powerful symbol prompting the causal-effect of social media for democracy.