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e-Journal

 

The Emerging Role of Social Media in Political and Regime Change
(Released March 2012)

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  by Rita Safranek  

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In the spring of 2011, the world watched as revolutionary fervor swept the Middle East, from Tunisia, to Egypt, to Syria and beyond. Startling images captured by civilians on the scene were viewed by people around the world, courtesy of distribution via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even mainstream media. There can be no doubt that information and communication technologies, in particular burgeoning social media, played a part in the upheavals. But, questions continue to dog political theorists and social scientists – just how much of a role did the different media play and which ones in which countries provided the biggest impact?

2011 demonstration in Tahrir Square
Over one million protestors demonstrate in Cairo's Tahrir Square on 9 February, 2011

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