About A Girl
Mostly writes on Half The World Is Watching. She is interested in and writes about feminist issues, politics and activism. An 80s child at heart, she loves old things, computer games, and keeping up with the development of social media.

5 Responses to How Internet Applications Changed Civic Engagement & Dissent

  1. Saadaab says:

    You’re implying that social media merely enhanced the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, and I know you’ve used Ms McCarthy as your source for that or for your balancing argument, but in your opinion, could this have happened without social media?

    • Soph says:

      I don’t know actually. I don’t know enough about the history of Egypt or Tunisia to really understand where they are coming from – but I think generally, the recession, and the fall-out from the recession, has had huge effects across the world… And we’ve reached the tipping point, globally. People are no longer putting up with being dictated to, or being forced to do things by their government. People would rather die than live in this world – which is a dreadful thing… Not sure entirely how it started to be honest, but perhaps it did start through facebook groups/small online discussions or something – so people knew they weren’t alone… Perhaps it would have eventually happened, just not this quickly, without people mobilising via twitter/etc.

      I think more action will take place, and I think citizens in more countries will start revolutions.
      Is this a good thing? Not sure.

      • Saadaab says:

        Why will revolutions ever not be a good thing? People only revolt against injustice. Unless you’re implying twitter and facebook are encouraging revolutions for the sake of them – which I don’t think is the case, and I also don’t think you do.

        Maybe twitter and facebook have shown Tunisians and Egyptians that they don’t have to put up with being oppressed, and their governance ultimately lies in their own hands. They’ve seen the freedom their twitter and facebook friends and family enjoy in other parts of the world, and they question why they can’t have that. OR it could be down to the tourists that go to the countries – I don’t know where I could find statistics but it seems like way more people visited them in the last 5 years than ever before. Of course this isn’t something specific to Egypt or Tunisia, it’s the same story for the whole world, and it’s natural that tourism and travel increases naturally throughout history as incomes, technology, means of travel improved. Maybe it was inevitable. Oppression and autocracy is unsustainable?

  2. Kit says:

    I’m not budging from my view that social media is only a different way of doing what we would have done anyway. What does concern me though is twofold – that conducting relations through social media weakens IRL connections as they’re far less used – and that if it wants to, the state can stop social media overnight. This second point is in fact especially pertinent due to the fact that the internet is privatised – big companies are far deeper enemies of social unrest even than governments. As we saw in Egypt, internet was suspended, Vodafone cut its network, Blackberry suspended its messaging service. And if IRL connections are weaker because we’re used to using social media – well, we’re then fucked.

  3. Pingback: How Internet Applications Changed Civic Engagement & Dissent « The … » Civic Body Kits Info -

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