Much of the media has linked the growth in arab states civil unrest to Twitter, Youtube and the t’interweb in general. I would agree that openness of social media sites has provided a useful platform for spreading the news of unrest but it’s a long stretch to think that any social platform has created the right environment to allow these protests to succeed. Much of the troubles have actually been around in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Jordan for a long time but the outcome and it’s speed in Tunisia has given other groups a real boost as it now seems possible to overthrow a government by setting yourself on fire over high unemployment figures and then let the incumbent make a hash of things by shooting, beating, censoring and generally acting like a dictator to a (closely, internet connected) watching world.
When it’s all done in Tunisia in just a few weeks and then Egypt falls victim to a similar fate (this time it’s corruption and low wages) after treading the same path of oppression it’s no wonder a lot of unhappy groups decide to pick this moment to rise. The domino effect is now in full swing and whilst some countries will gain and (maybe) move to a better democracy you’d be wise not to forget the 2008 protests in the Ukraine after the country had a financial meltdown and the government was thrown out. Only to come back in a slightly modified form.
Twitter or Youtube aren’t the cause, poor governance is. Wonder when it will hit the UK? Maybe when middle England mortgage rates hit 10% and petrol cost £2 a litre.
- Are We Watching a Twitter Revolution in the Mideast? (alternet.org)
- Social media, cellphone video fuel Arab protests (canada.com)
- Tunisia after the revolution (theworld.org)
- Arab revolts: Another good week for social media, a bad week for dictators (venturebeat.com)
- “Disrupting the Domino Theory: Libya and Bahrain” and related posts (globalcomment.com)
- Tweeting About a Revolution (epiphanysolutions.co.uk)
- Is social media changing your world? (kilgannonsays.wordpress.com)
- Social Media Sparks Egyptian Revolution (socialnetworkingnewsdaily.com)