In the case of the Arab Spring, later investigations documented examples of bloggers claiming they were on site when they were actually never there. All peoples have choices in how and by what means they tell stories. Within a short period, in multiple countries throughout the region, the people overthrew the regime or forced political concessions. According to the Project on Information Technology and Political Islam the number of tweets posted about Egypt – many using #Jan25 in homage – jumped from 2,300 to 230,000 per day the week before Mubarak stepped down on the 11 February. Outside parties can take a more direct hand in events and influence the outcomes of protests. Journalism." Letting the outside world know what is happening - supplanted with pictures and video of atrocities, attacks, or assaults - has created an all new type of central power. Contemporary social mobilization strategy relies on activism through multiple media formats. The Taliban (and Al Qaeda) could be seen in a modified Kilcullen model as manipulating religion and observation, isolating government authorities. It was relatively easy for the TB/AQ to take over. May 28, 2012. On the other hand it brought a very graphic reality of the system’s violence and how far a human being can go.”. He has appeared on Fox News and TraderNation, and quoted in The USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. The authors came to some conclusions that countered the initial assumption that social media was a causal mechanism in the uprisings. There is some debate . "Video News & Comment About Controversy & Future of Syrian’s Citizen. Social media provides a burgeoning capability that enables people to feel connected to and identify with the concerns of others. (In a positive or a negative way?) Bennett, Shea. Pingback:Changing change while it changes: The rise of disruptive military thinking (Part 3) – OTH, Pingback:The Impact of Social Media in the Arab World. The Role of Social Media in the Arab Spring A number of studies have looked specifically at the role of social media in the upris-ings that have become known as the Arab Spring. Social media informed the wider movement, but it also became a space for the revolution in its own right. Arab Media and Society. Early analysis often missed the effect of information spread through the internet on local anti-establishment movements. Maneuver at Lightspeed: Electromagnetic Spectrum as a Domain, OTH Video: Beyond the Theory – A Framework for Multi-Domain Operations, Multi-Domain Operations at the Strategic Level, traditional media historically plays a large part, Outside parties can take a more direct hand, search for ways around those restrictions, established governments have a similar ability, Duelling Algorithms: Using Artificial Intelligence in Warfighting, Changing change while it changes: The rise of disruptive military thinking (Part 3) – OTH, The Impact of Social Media in the Arab World. In the sea of the Arab Spring, social media provided a means for assorted civil groups to collaborate. A combination of opportunity and threat can serve as a catalyst propelling protest movements to gain significant ground against the government, and demonstrate the depth and magnitude of popular support for their cause. Hypothetically, yes, but why would you assume or look for foreign influence as a factor? He resigned the following day. Social media enabled activists to quickly shape the dominant discourse of Arab resistance to the old regimes. Social media can incite strong feelings, even extreme anger, but these emotions do not sustain social movements in the long run.  Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. Herein, our narrative (diplomacy, development and defense) is directed toward this end. When asked to pinpoint two tweets – one that sums up his life five years ago and one from today – you get the sense that it was the dedicated activism and not Twitter per se that made change happen. In 2009, Australian Army Lt Col David Kilcullen published a groundbreaking book on counterinsurgency entitled ‘The Accidental Guerilla.’ Among the many salient points of this book was an intuitive graphic on the strategy of conventional (terrestrial) warfare. The lack of sustained social media interest reinforces the necessity for civil society organizations to actively organize before the start of a movement. Once an individual shows a propensity towards a particular stance on an issue, their news feeds tend to be dominated by suggested articles with the same view. While social media helped activists propagate a resistance narrative, this did not automatically create a corporeal means for organization. This revolution became the first social movement of the XXI century that has developed through social media. ", "Cyberactivism in the Egyptian Revolution: How Civic Engagement and Citizen Journalism. TJ Waters spent four years as a co-team chief at U.S. Special Operations Command Headquarters. Social movements differ from many similar politically active groups such as an interest group or political party, and endure through adverse events far beyond a passing trend. In the early days of December 2010, pundits, analysts, and world leaders alike failed to anticipate the political and social upheaval that was about to unfold. ", (1) Certain leaders -- who were seen in the eyes of the population as western puppets -- were thrown out of power. To sum up everything that has been stated, I think social media is immersed in our everyday lives, and it’s important to include them in the social movements like the Arab Spring. Solidarity helped overcome risk-to-reward calculus of the established middle class and rising elites. , Social media indeed played a part in the Arab uprisings. The Arab Spring, which was heavily publicized as an uprising made possible in part by social media, had some relative success in the countries where it actually happened. ): Small Wars Journal is published by Small Wars Foundation - a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Now anyone can post information without the editing or checking that institutional media once used. Summer 2011 and Lim, Merlyna. There's nothing wrong with looking at the implications and potential uses of new tools, but we do ourselves no favors if we focus on the tools to the extent that we overlook the rather critical role of the people using them. Social media per se do nothing whatsoever, it is the actions of the users that achieve the results. During the Arab Spring, protest organizers used social media to collect and focus grievances against the government and to overcome the inherent hesitancy of individuals to participate in a protest movement. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions.
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