The days of major civil unrest at Tahir Square in Egypt seem somehow far in the past. However, the outcomes of the revolution are still unfolding. While the population questions whether a political transition has really occurred, since the Egyptian Armed Forces (SCAF) still holds the power in the country, it is possible to affirm that one paramount transformation has come to stay: the use of social media as a prominent tool for political activism and citizen journalism.
After thousands of civilians have faced military trials post-revolution, local activists decided to launch a campaign on Facebook seeking for people’s support to bombard SCAF’s website with criticism against the practice. After 15 minutes of uninterrupted criticisms at SCAF’s and other ministries websites, an official authority shut down the comments sections on Facebook sites. This is just a simple example of how local population is using social media to keep the Arab Spring alive in Egypt.
Another ongoing practice is regular meetings organized by local activists known as TweetNadwa. The main goal is to exchange information about how to use social media and digital tools to promote political changes in the country. According to Gigi Ibrahim, a prominent participant at TweetNadwa, these digital channels are great weapons to fight corruption and to promote transparency in the country. Social medias allow any citizen to make wrongdoings visible to society, making it easier for the population to become aware of what is really going on in different parts of the country. Besides keeping the population informed, these tools have a unique effect: they create momentum, aligning different people and ideas at the same time and in multiple places. The potential of such “alliance” is immeasurable! For more information go to: http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2011/09/how-social-media-is-keeping-the-egyptian-revolution-alive256.html
The Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference will be holding different panels discussing the reaches of social medias and their multiple impacts to governments, corporations and civil society. Register on the link above to join us!