Social Media Powers Egyptian Victory
Don’t underestimate the power of the pound sign. Hashtags on Twitter such as #Mubarakgone, #Egypt, can produce powerful results.
Incredibly, some people believe social media’s main role is being a tawdry pick up place for stalkers and illicit romances. Today’s historic victory in Egypt, instigated and fueled on social networking sites, proves our new way of communicating can make the world a smaller and much better place.
Social Media is not only changing the way we communicate and market businesses, it is changing the world, one country at a time. As Mubarak lets go of his white knuckle grasp on Egypt today, in the wake of Tunisia’s similar uprising last month, other dictatorships around the world should be shaking in their boots.
Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are mobilizing people who formerly had no voice. Together, as we have seen over the last eighteen days in Egypt, they are loud enough to be heard the world over.
Despite attempts by Mubarak’s government to stifle the uprising by shutting off internet service on January 28, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds have already mobilized a country tired of 30 years of corruption, nepotism, and police brutality.
A few short years ago, protesters and political activists needed access to funds to deliver their message. They would do so by printing pamphlets, and then risk their lives delivering them to the public. Attempting to garner numbers and support was a life-risking task, and understandably hard to get momentum when the stakes were so high.
Now, uprisings can begin quietly and without any cost using Twitter and Facebook, providing one has access to the internet or a smart phone. Plans can be generated overnight, support can be easily whipped up by angry, frustrated people living in fear.
As the world watched the horrifying death of Iranian Neda Agha-Soltan following protests of the governmental elections in 2009, captured by amateur video and aired on YouTube, it became clear that a new day was dawning. With the help of social media, a message is being sent to dictatorships and anarchists: we are watching you.
North Korea, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, take note. You could be next.
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