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Arab Spring

What was the impact of Social Media on the different groups of the Egypt Revolution?

Tobias Röcker

on 17 January 2013

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Transcript of Arab Spring

 The protests were sparked by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi on 17 December 2010 and led to the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 28 days later on 14 January 2011. independent Newspaper Facebook Twitter Mobile
Phones 27th Regime 25th Newspaper TV/Radio Phones
Landlines Tahrir Arab Spring Case Study - Egypt: Presentation Agenda:

Political Context
Media Situation
Actors & Activism
Effects and Causality
Conclusion & Discussion Statistics Egypt and the Arab Spring Political Context Media Situation

The Arab Spring is a revolutionary wave of demonstrations, protests, and wars occurring in the Arab world that began on 18 December 2010 in Tunisia. Also in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Sudan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Sausi Arabia, Djibouti and Western Sahara. Actors and their use of social media:

"Political process model" of social movements (McAdam 1982; Tarrow 1994; Tilly 1978): How are social movements embedded in, and shaped by their political, social and cultural environments/structures?

Development of online activism in Egypt over the 2000s: How did it come to the events in Tahrir Square?

Kefaya Movement 2004, April 6th Youth Movement 2008, We are all Khaled Said 2010, Jan 25 2011 http://www.harakamasria.org/

http://misrdigital.blogspirit.com/ April 6th Youth Movement

Egyptian labour movement. Call for a general strike on April 6 2008.

Rooted in the earlier Kefaya Movement, carried on the same strategies (blogs, Flickr, YouTube, email, text) and brought 2 new tools to the table (Facebook and Twitter).

First opposition movement to use Facebook. Ahmed Maher created April 6th Youth Movement Facebook group in March 2008 (grew to 70,000 members by early 2009).

http://www.facebook.com/6april.thanawy?fref=ts We are all Khaled Said

Khaled Said seized by police from an internet cafe in Alexandra and beaten to death in the street.

Facebook group created by Wael Ghonim (June 2010) to bring the death of Khaled Said into public attention. Graphic images of his facial injuries circulated on blogs, Facebook, YouTube.

Became the most popular dissident Facebook group in Egypt.

http://www.facebook.com/elshaheeed.co.uk?fref=ts Jan 25 2011

Jan 25 "Day of Mourning" (annual National Police Day)

April 6th Movement made the first call for participation in Jan 25 protests on various social media and coordinated closely with the We are Khaled Said Facebook group. When Wael Ghonim invited members to protest in Jan 25, more than 50,000 clicked "yes".

Hastag #jan25 was used to mobilize protesters on Twitter Khaled Said (Berlin Wall)

“I want to meet Mark Zuckerberg one day and thank him… if you want to liberate a society just give them the Internet” (Wael Ghonim in CNN interview, Google marketing manager and Egyptian online activist).

Simon Cottle: The argument is "not so much about whether new social media did, or did not perform a determining role in the events in question but rather how exactly media systems and new communication networks complexly interacted, entered into and shaped them".

What do you think?
What do regimes want?

What can social media help do about that?

reducing the costs of collective action
homophilous sorting
lower preference falsification online
impact on international attention

mobilisation depends on many factors reinforcing or cross-cutting each other
the more important the common goal is for the basic needs of a society the easier it is to waive societal barriers otherwise dividing people and to keep mobilization high and the common goal at hand
the lower the costs of collective action, the more will people be willing to be mobilised while it will at the same time become more difficult to transform this mobilisation into real political action
different channels need to be worked on actively or need to reinforce each other to reach a large number of people
even our small-scale experimental campaign leaves a trace: awareness as to the tap water issue will remain and be reactivated each time we will see something about it
influence of satellite TV and traditional offline structures as well as F2F communication
biographical availability of large parts of the population leading to different barriers to direct engagement
identity and signals
capability of regimes to catch up on new media and use them for their own purposes WOLFSFELD (1993)
- each side in complex media-movement is dependent on the other; movements more depandent than in reverse SIMON COTTLE (2011)
- different and complex way an which media and communication have become inextrically infused inside them ADAY et. al. (2012)
- "New media must be understood as part of a wider information arena in which new and old media form complex relationships" Leaders & Corruption Hosni Mubarak (1981-2011) Zine el Abidine-Ben Ali
(1987-2011) Common set of grievances governmental corruption
rising living costs
growing inequalities
lower political rights Conclusion Urban youth key to arab revolution educated, unemployed and disaffected youth with high biographical availability
high willingness to engage in protests
young people aged 15-29 make up third of Egypt's population
youth unemployment reaching 24% in 2010 they both shared affliction of an aged president with a corrupt government
both suffered from massive unemployment, a frustrated youth and a shrinking middle class
whereas Tunisia struggled against strict censorship and political repression, Egypt was followed by a long history of political activism against Mubarak
demonstration in Tunisia spiraled towards the capital from rural areas
Egypt: cosmopolitan youth in major cities (Cairo) High Press Council Ministry of Information Ministry of Communication &
Information Technology ERTU
Egyptian Radio and Telecommunication Union President Mubarak Press Licences Internet development but collection of browser data Egyptians Revolution in Tunisia
Arab Spring in other countries Kefaya Movement 2004


Egyptian Movement for Change

First anti-Mubarak Movement

Coordinated online via HarakaMasria.org and Misr Digital.com:

Egypt's first independent digital newspaper "Egyptian Awareness"

Kefaya movement coincided with emergence of the blogging era in Egypt. Mobile
Phones no internet filter Citizen Journalists international Journalism by Tufekci & Wilson
1050 interviews in February 2011
network sampling
90 questions / ~30 min
trained Interviewers Al Fagr Masry Al Yom pick stories from blogs 80% 2010 56% in 2009 Tufekci &Wilson Did Social Media cause the revolution?
Did Twitter, Facebook and YouTube send people out into the streets? Facebook Revolution?
Who is right?
Big debate between cyber enthusiasts and cyber sceptics Media Use of Protestors Arab Spring It all started in Tunisia The revolutionary change began also in Egypt… Tunis: President Ben Ali ousted, and government overthrown.
Egypt: President Hosni Mubarak ousted, and government overthrown.
Libya: divided by civil war, experiencing a NATO intervention.
Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain: Civil uprisings against the governments, despite government changes.
Jordan, Kuwait, and Oman: implementing government changes in response to protests.
Algeria, Iraq, Western Sahara etc.: ongoing protests. Overview of the results used by leader to organize support demonstrations. Mubarak regime ended – the next one ahead?

The movement has so far not been able to transform into politically compatible actor(s)

People have gained a new level of confidence in their ability to achieve change. This will remain and build a basis for future activities disrupting the work of foreign journalists through personal intimidation, targeting particular for¬eign news bureaus or simply refusing journalists visas and access to the country. Blogs Conclusion & Discussion 5 Mio Facebook User 2010 27% use internet regular basis
50% of Cairo population use internet
Access: 1. Google, 2. Facebook, 4. Youtube
5 Mio Facebook user
55 Mio mobile phones global net community International
support Political outcome: Out of the frying pan into the fire? What have we learned from our campaign? Further important factors to be considered Outcomes and Causal Effects BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aday S, Farrell H, Lynch M, Sides J, Kelly J, Zuckerman E. (2010): Blogs and Bullets: New Media in Contentious Politics. Report no. 65. Washington, DC: U.S. Inst. Peace. 31 pp.

Aday S, Farrell H, Lynch M, Sides J, Freelon D. (2012): Blogs and Bullets II: New Media and Conflict after the
Arab Spring. Report no. 80. Washington, DC: U.S. Inst. Peace. 28 pp.

Cottle, S., Media and the Arab uprisings of 2011: Research notes

Faris, David M. (2009): The End of the Beginning: The Failure of April 6th and the Future of Electronic Activism in Egypt. In:Arab Media & Society No. 9, Fall. http://www.arabmediasociety.com/?article=723

Farrell, H. (2012): The Consequences of the Internet for Politics. In: The Annual Review of Politicial Science, 15, 35-52.

Freedom House Index: Freedom of the press 2011 on Egypt [URL] http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2011/egypt
Hamdy, Naila (2009): Arab Citizen Journalism in Action: Challenging Mainstream Media, Authorities and Media Laws. In: Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, 6(1), pp. 92-112.

Lim, Merlyna (2012): Clicks, Cabs, and Coffee Houses: Social Media and Oppositional Movements in Egypt, 2004–2011. In: Journal of Communication, 62, pp. 231–248.

Lynch, Marc (2011): After Egypt: The Limits and Promise of the Online Challenge to the Authoritarian Arab State. In: Perspectives on Politics, 9(2), 302-312.

Lynch, Marc (2012) The Arab Uprising

Reporters Without Borders: Enemies of the Internet report 2010 [URL: http://en.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/Internet_enemies.pdf ]

Tufekci and Wilson 2011: Social Media and the Decision to Participate in Political Protest: Observations From Tahrir Square, Journal of Communication 62 (2012) 363–379
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