Week 7: Government: Protests and Revolutions

Wadah Khanfar: A historic moment in the Arab world

This week we read about ICTs as a vehicle for Social Movement Organizations.  We also mentioned in class the role of Facebook in the Arab Spring and the fall of Mubarak in Egypt.  Starting with Tunisia, many countries used ICTs like Twitter and Facebook in order to connect with others to organize protests of their countries’ dictatorships, and as a result, many dictators fell during the Arab Spring. The goal was to create democratic governments with democratic elections.  Although this did happen, our discussion made me wonder . . . after these historic protests and the rise of democracies, what happened after the Arab Spring?

A couple of days before class, I heard something on NPR about Egypt, so for this week I decided to check out those countries and see what has happened to those involved in the Arab Spring.  To me, it does not seem to be going great- there is a Civil War in Syria with the Hitleresque Al Assad (he even rocks the mustache)refusing to step down, the military government in Egypt kills protesters, and in Libya, a US Ambassador is dead.

In other oppressive countries, according to Evgeny Morozov, technology is being used as a major propaganda tool: Evgeny Morozov: How the Net aids dictatorships

It seems to me that without a plan, the protests made possible through the use of Social Media, cannot possibly be successful.  So, while Social Media is a viable asset for democracy, other tools must be used in order for that democracy to be sustainable.

These are some of the links I found interesting regarding the Arab Spring:
The Arab Spring Two Years Later
In Post-Revolution Egypt, Fears Of Police Abuse Deepening
Not So Fast: Egyptian Court Suspends Upcoming Elections
Arab Spring two years later

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