Social Media In The Egyptian Uprising

1619 Words 6 Pages
January 25, 2011, marked the day in which Egyptian citizens took to the streets to demand change in their government. Over the course of eighteen days, the protests began to turn violent; security forces used tear gas in an attempt to gain control over the citizens. The Egyptian government initially blocked citizens from accessing Facebook so that they would not be able to organize protests. By January 28, the government issued an Internet ban to keep protesters from organizing demonstrations. However, protesters had foreseen their government 's reaction and were able to keep communication open through the use of a previously built infrastructure. On February 11, 2011, just eighteen days after the onset of protests, Egyptian President Hosni …show more content…
As seen in the Wall Street Protests, Meetup groups were formed to organize the location, time, and date of protests, so that others could join and the movement could gain in number. In the Egyptian Uprising, protest organizers used Facebook to create events that others could join. This helped spread word of the event, location, time, and date and aided in gathering greater numbers in support of the movement. Prior to social media, organizers were unable to reach large masses of people with the crucial information needed to begin a political movement. Organizers would need to create websites or pass information by word of mouth (Genovese, 2011). The problem with this, however, was that the only people who would view the information were the people who were already interested in the movement. Thus, it was difficult to add new supporters to their …show more content…
During the Egyptian Protests, Americans could see the events that were taking place in real-time, without waiting for a news source to publish them. This creates a type of “citizen journalism,” which can lead to accuracy issues. Because users are able to post whatever information they choose, regardless of their qualifications or lack thereof, accuracy issues may become present. Therefore, users must confirm their sources and ensure that the information posted is accurate. Citizen journalism also allows people a voice during these times, which can lead to a greater showing of support. In a breakdown of Tweets from the Egyptian Uprising, it is seen that Twitter was mainly used as a tool to discuss the events of the Uprising, and to provide a first-hand account of events on the ground (Storck, 2011). The study shows that Twitter was used as a form of alternate press, which allowed users from all around the world to follow the events, without bias from traditional media. Additionally, according to Professor of Digital Media Sree Sreenivasan, “There is a real role for social media for people who are far away from the action to bring context, understanding and analysis” (Stork,

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