Today, FPRI again gave me the opportunity to guest blog on one of my favorite topics in recent years – the implications of social media in the Arab Spring and particularly Egypt: The Coup That Wasn’t Tweeted – Looking Back At Egypt’s Social Media Revolution. I’ll post a brief section of the post here, but I also wanted post some of the links to discussions of this topic here at Selected Wisdom and the videos I refer to in the original FPRI post but could not embed in their website.
First, here’s an introduction to the post which is available at this link.
For those that lauded the wonders of social media activism, the coup showed the weaknesses of Facebook revolutions for achieving lasting political change. Social media may have prompted Egyptians to storm the streets in January 2011, but it did not result in Western style democracy. Instead of the more Western and secular elements in Egypt leading change, the Muslim Brotherhood’s democratically elected leaders triumphed at the ballot boxes and further divided the country more than they unified it. Two years later, the failure of Egypt’s “Facebook Revolution” with a return to authoritarian military rule may in fact set democracy in the Middle East back more than it ever progressed it. This brings us to Malcolm Gladwell.
Second, here are some posts related to the progression of Egypt’s social media fueled revolution.
* The Weakness of Twitter Revolts – Jan. 31, 2011
* More Egypt Coverage – Feb. 4, 2011
* Egypt’s Google Dude – Feb. 9, 2011
* Egypt’s Google Dude Illustrates the Weakness of Twitter Revolts – Jan. 18, 2012
* More on Social Media Movement Leaders from ICSR – Jan. 23, 2012
Third, here are the videos from the FPRI post that I could not embed.
* Malcolm Gladwell’s shaky response to the Facebook Revolutions
* Stephen Colbert’s hilarious offer to lead the Occupy Movement