Social media overemphasized in the revolution?

khaled said blog

“We are all Khaled Said” is a Facebook page created in 2010 to raise awareness about the brutality of Egyptian police after Said’s death, which was executed in retaliation for his posted video exposing police corruption. This page gained the support of over 300,000 followers and is a resource for raising civic engagement through an anonymous outlet.

“The New Middle East: Social Media: A Force for Political Change in Egypt” assesses the debate about the role of social media in the Egyptian revolution. This blogger argues that while social media was somewhat central, it was not necessarily imperative because of organized protests that were achieved in the past. Baiasu argues that social media aided in building a politically conscious society, allowing a lower threshold for political engagement, and giving the resources for planning protests more easily and anonymously.

The role of social media in the Arab Spring has been debated by many who disagree on how central its role was to engaging protesters. On one hand, some argue that many protests have been organized before the age of social media and that it is just the channel of communication for our times. Blogger Kira Baiasu disagrees, arguing that social media played the most important role leading up to the revolution by creating an informed population, allowing for an anonymous way for people to get involved, and by allowing a convenient and broad resource for activists to organize protests. An example of this social media support base is seen on the largest Egyptian dissident page, the “We are all Khaled Said” Facebook page. The page is still active after over four years since its establishment, still spreading awareness for police brutality and military action, as well as continuing political and economic protests in Egypt. This type of social revolution could bring a cosmopolitan appeal to Egyptian youth in how they approach future political change. These activists have relied on forming networks between themselves and other organizations separate from the government. They are in favor of change and improvisation of political powers. However, it seems that the Egyptians want to eventually hand over their power to an effective government. They were desperate for fair elections that they could use to elect a popular leader. Without the role of a stable, popular government, the population is forced to assume the responsibility of molding their society.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *