Posts Tagged ‘Tunisia’

Digital ‘End of History’? Hmmm….not yet

March 30, 2011

The Middle East uprisings have triggered an enthusiastic rhetoric regarding a strong correlation between ‘Democratisation’ and the ‘Social Media’. Morozov seems to disagree.

Authoritarian states around the world will now develop new strategies to tame the web

This is the main subject of his recently published book The Net Delusion: How not to Liberate the World.

I agree. Fighting for democracy is not triggered, it is just facilitated by the new media. The twitter becomes more the tool rather than the reason. But I also come to understand Clay Shirky’s position as expressed in the Foreign Affairs last month: the social media synchronise the behaviour of groups and therefore alter the dynamics of the public sphere.

I am sure that more case studies -after Iran, Tynisia, Egypt – will be available for further exploration pretty soon…

Dear Egyptian government…

January 29, 2011

One of the main topics that attracted this week’s interest is the protest in Egypt against President Mubarak that followed similar protests in Tunisia. The fear for a domino effect in Middle East is not an unrealistic one. But, it seems that the new victim of those protests is the Internet connection, the ability of the people to be connected and to use the social media-necessary tools for the organization and mobilization of their actions.

The Net activities in Egypt started to be very problematic since last Tuesday with Facebook and Twitter and further mobile services non responsive, and the users in an effort to discover alternative connection mechanisms. Needless to say,  that the official government denied any responsibility at the very beginning.

Governments that claim that they promote free speech should know that nowadays by ‘free speech’ we mean ‘ being, talking, and acting online‘. Cutting down the online services is not about restoring order in a violent crackdown. The more immediate the response of a government re cutting down online services the higher the chance to be called authoritarian.

Dear governments: On line means also In line (with the contract signed between you and the people).