Social Media and Political Change

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By tkwegs
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Social Media’s role in Political changeced
In early 2011 revoulution seemed to sweep across much of the of oArab world. Long standing dictators were overthrown after unarmed and largely peaceful protest in Egypt, Tunisa and Libya. Protests seemed to have have also had profound effects in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria. Demonstrations have arisen in most other Arab states as well as Spain and Uganda. The role of social media in these uprisising has been dubbed the “Twitter revoulitons.”
Does social media, really deserve all those accolades? Revoultions have been overthrowing oppressive governments long before web 2.0. Iranians in overthrew the Shah in 1979, Filipinos overthrew President Marcos in 1986, and the Communist bloc in Eastern Europe crumbled one after another in 1989. This paper will explore the phenomenon of social media nad its role in promoting and prompting progressive political change, particularly in countries with oppressive leaders.
Social media has been defined as “a group of internet based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content”. (Kaplan) “Web 2.0” is the name for internet platforms which allow for interactive participation by users thereof. It may be contrasted with Web 1.0 platforms, which simply provide content to users, without giving them the opportunity to interact with or modify that information online. This content is all considered user generated content. The OECd has specified there criteria for content to be classified as “user generated”: it should be available on a publicly accessible wegsite or aon a social networking site that is available to a select group; it entails a mininmal amount of creative effort, and it is “created outside of professional routines and practices”. This definition does exclude purely…...

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