The Blog — Technology and Social Movements
Social movements and campaigns for social change that harness new technologies, like the internet and mobile phones.
Since 2004, social media has grown to become a determining factor in the reporting of any story we come across. Without it, one wonders what might have happened over the last 16 months in the MENA region, or if the Arab Spring would have occurred at all.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, Reddit, Digg – social media is what brings many of us together. And despite the sweeping changes taking place in the Middle East, one thing remains the same: there are not as many women using social media tools as men.
Protest4 is an application that helps you connect with other protesters around the world and in the next street. It empowers anyone to create a protest and then invite others to join using social media. After joining you can communicate exclusively with other people who are following that protest, sharing text and publishing images on the same protest wall in real time.
Sourla Wa Bas is an iPhone and iPad app that gives users accurate information about activities of the Syrian opposition.
Do “liberation technologies” change the balance of power between repressive regimes & civil society?
Please enjoy Patrick Meier's dissertation: Do "liberation technologies" change the balance of power between repressive regimes & civil society?
Anver M. Emon, Ellen Lust, and Audrey Macklin interview Ahmed Saleh in Cairo and Nadine Wahab in Washington, D.C. about their experience as admins of the Facebook page which served as an information hub during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.
The issue of whether — or how much — social-media tools such as Facebook and Twitter influenced the “Arab Spring” revolutions in Egypt and elsewhere has been a contentious one since the first rock was thrown in Tunisia earlier this year. But as more experts have studied the events in those countries, it has become increasingly clear that social tools and networks played a fairly critical role in helping turn what had been undercurrents of dissent into open revolt. Although they didn’t cause those revolutions to happen by any means, it’s arguable that they would never have happened — or at least would have happened in very different ways — if it wasn’t for the use of Facebook and other forms of social media.
This weekend, Egyptian blogger, Twitter activist, and human rights advocate Alaa Abd El Fattah (@alaa) went in to a military court in Egypt for interrogation. He refused to answer the military’s questions and was thus detained for 15 days. Activists in MENA and all over the world are campaigning on and offline for his release.
Currently the 3rd Arab Bloggers Meeting is taking place in Tunis. While many influential and important Arab bloggers are in attendance, those coming from Palestine were denied entry visas by the Tunisian Interior Ministry. Bloggers at the conference and their supporters online have launched a campaign to draw attention to the injustice and find out why the visas were denied.
The revolution in Egypt is unfinished business. While new online tools are used to strengthen civil society, activists are still struggling with the digital divide when it comes to mobilizing masses against the army and the remains of the old administration.