North Africa and the Middle East

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One Libyan Battle Is Fought in Social and News Media

The Libyan Revolution was among the first uprisings of the Arab Spring. Emad Mekay chronicles the tensions between the Libyan people and the Libyan leader, Muammar el-Qaddafi. Colonel Qaddafi controls the country’s mainstream media, which includes Al-Jamahiriya – Libya’s state-owned television channel that spews patriotic songs and shows videos of pro-government rallies. Therefore, the people of Libya chose to spread their ideas for governmental change through different outlets. Twitter, videos recorded on cell-phones and pan-Arab news channels, like Al Jazeera, began to be used to gain support inside and outside of Libya. Mekay contends that social media is one of the leading tools that people in repressive countries can use when their governments have complete control over traditional media outlets.

Mekay, Emad. “One Libyan Battle Is Fought in Social and News Media.” The New York Times. 23 February 2011. Web. 5 July 2012.  <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/world/middleeast/24iht-m24libya.html?_r=1>.

 

Social Media Lessons From a Revolution

Wael Ghonim, a former Google Marketer, created the “Kullena Khaled Said” Facebook page, one of the most influential opposition sites during the Egyptian Revolution. This article focuses on five key elements that Ghonim used – elements that made “Kullena Khaled Said” both a dynamic control center during the Egyptian revolution and extremely popular among Facebook members. The author argues that any brand or organization can use these five steps to make their own online marketing more centralized, engaging and effective.

Davis, Ryan J. “Social Media Lessons From a Revolution.” Huffington Post. 5 July 2012. Web. 6 July 2012. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ryan-j-davis/social-media-lessons-from_1_b_1643936.html>.

 

How Social Media Is Keeping the Egyptian Revolution Alive

Though Hosni Mubarak is no longer the president of Egypt, the Egyptian Revolution is far from over.  The military has assumed control of the country, resulting in nearly 10,000 civilian military trials, which is more than what occurred during Mubarak’s regime. In a sense, the old regime is still in power. Thus, civilians are taking a stand by communicating via Twitter and Facebook and by organizing via “TweetNadwas,” online and offline meetings for planning revolutionary movements. In addition, social media has allowed Egyptian citizens to raise funds for humanitarian projects and to expose government illegalities, like corruption and acts of torture.

Aitamurto, Tanja. “How Social Media Is Keeping the Egyptian Revolution Alive.” PBS. 13 September 2011. Web. 29 June 2012. <http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2011/09/how-social-media-is-keeping-the-egyptian-revolution-alive256.html>.

 

Facebook and Twitter key to Arab Spring uprisings: report

Nine out of ten civilians in Egypt and Tunisia used Facebook to either organize protests or to spread information in early 2011. Although it is debated how much social media should be credited as a means of sustaining a revolution, author Carol Huang believes that social media is the reason that the Arab Spring existed. From January to April 2011, a particularly active period of protest, Facebook usage in the Arab region increased dramatically, sometimes even doubling from the previous year. As hard as authorities may try to suppress civilians and censor publicly released information, protesters will only continue to develop new solutions to spread information and stay connected.

Huang, Carol. “Facebook and Twitter key to Arab Spring uprisings: report.” The National. 6 June 2011. Web. 13 July 2012. <http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/facebook-and-twitter-key-to-arab-spring-uprisings-report>.

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