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Contemporary History and the Role of Social Media in the Arab Spring Revolution - Research Paper Example

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Abstract The paper analyzes the role of social media and cell phones in the Libyan revolution which led to the ouster of the Libyan dictator Gaddafi. The circumstances which lead to the overthrowing of the Libyan government are discussed and the role of social media is traced side by side…
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Contemporary History and the Role of Social Media in the Arab Spring Revolution
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Contemporary History and the Role of Social Media in the Arab Spring Revolution

Download file to see previous pages... Cell phones provided substantial evidence to the international community to believe that the situation in Libya requires international intervention. Libyan Revolution: the role of Social Media and Cell Phones Arab Spring Arab Spring is the name given to the series of protests and demonstrations which took place during the last two years in various Middle Eastern and North African countries for over throwing the oppressive governments. The first revolution sparked up in Tunisia when on 18 December 2010 Tunisian people started to protest against the government following the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi. The minor protests gained immense popularity through the activists’ updates on social media sites, within hours the Tunisian capital was crowded with protestors; amid demonstrations and violence the government was overthrown. The success stories of the Tunisian revolution were not only covered by news agencies and reporters, those were also projected immensely on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and through blogging in other Arab countries. These stories motivated the oppressed people in these countries to protest against the dictatorial regimes of their governments. As a result the governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia were overthrown and the demands of the protestors were fulfilled by the government in other Arab countries (Manhire, 2012). ...
The stories of success of revolution in one country were also conveyed through social media to other countries which triggered the expansion of the wave of protest to whole Arab world. Surprisingly no leaders emerged out of these revolutions, this is merely due to the fact that there were no leaders in the revolutions; the motivational and guiding role of the leaders was played by social media sites which turned out to be a vital tool for connecting activists and disseminating information. Social media helped in turning the random protests into organized ones as more than 3 million tweets, 5 million Facebook comments and thousands of blogs were written and published on internet during the protests in the Arab countries. The people of the Arab world had been against these dictators and oppressors for years but their protests and political activities were fragmented. Social media sites brought the public sentiment of shared grievance into light and acted as a source of change in the mindset of people making them politically active from being politically aware. It is true that political awareness cannot be created overnight; it is a long process which had already been initiated in the Arab world years ago, also through internet but not through social media. However, the driving force for pulling people into streets was provided by the activities on social media sites (Lynch, 2011). This modern methodolgy of protest and political activity was a new challenge for the dictatorial regimes of the Arab world and they did not have a strategy to face this challenge. As a result, the governments also took some decisions against these social media sites which worked in favor of the resolutions; for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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