[P2P-F] social media revolution

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 3 15:40:26 CET 2011

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michael Bauwens <michelsub2003 at yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 7:10 PM
Subject: blog update, social revolution part 2
To: Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004 at gmail.com>


By Mathew Ingram:

 " is anyone really arguing that Twitter and Facebook caused the revolutions
Tunisia or Egypt, or even the earlier public uprisings in Moldova or Iran
that matter? Maybe cyber-utopians somewhere are doing this, but I haven’t
or heard of any. Theargument I have tried to make is simply that they and
social media tools can be incredibly powerful, both for spreading the word —
which can give moral or emotional support to others in a country, as well as
generating external support — as well as for organizational purposes, thanks
the power of the network. As Jared Cohen of Google Ideas put it, social
may not be a cause, but it can be a powerful “accelerant.”Did Twitter or
Facebook cause the Tunisian revolt? No. But they did spread the news, and
Tunisian revolutionaries gave them a lot of credit for helping with the
Did Twitter cause the revolts in Egypt? No. But they did help activists such
WikiLeaks supporter Jacob Appelbaum (known on Twitter as @ioerror) and
others as
they organized the dialup and satellite phone connections that created an
Internet after Egypt turned the real one off — which, of course, it did in
part to try and prevent demonstrators from using Internet-based tools to
unrest. As Cory Doctorow notedin his review of Evgeny Morozov’s book, even
Twitter and Facebook are just used to replace the process of stapling pieces
paper to telephone poles and sending out hundreds of emails, they are still
huge benefit to social activism of all kinds.
But open-network advocate Dave Winer made the key point: it’s the Internet
is the really powerful tool here, not any of the specific services such as
Twitter and Facebook that run on top of it, which Winer compares to brands
NBC. They have power because lots of people use them, and — in the case of
Twitter — because they have open protocols so that apps can still access the
network even when the company’s website is taken down by repressive
(athough they didn’t mention Egypt or Tunisia by name, Twitter co-founder
Stone and general counsel Alexander Macgillivray wrote a post about the
company’s desire to “keep the information flowing).
In the end, the real weapon is the power of networked communication itself.
previous revolutions it was the fax, or the pamphlet, or the cellphone — now
is SMS and Twitter and Facebook. Obviously none of these things cause
revolutions, but to ignore or downplay their growing importance is also a

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