What the Arab Spring Tells Us About the Future of Social Media in Revolutionary Movements

Lindsey, Richard A. “What the Arab Spring Tells Us About the Future of Social Media in Revolutionary Movements.” Small Wars Journal. July 29, 2013. http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/what-the-arab-spring-tells-us-about-the-future-of-social-media-in-revolutionary-movements.

Lindsey contends in his thesis that “the future of revolutionary movements in globalized societies will involve social media is assured, but the degree to which it will is yet to be determined.” He argues that social media “facilitate[d], not create[d]” the conditions need for the regime change of Arab Spring. Some ways social media facilitated the movements included the dissemination of propaganda, recruitment of volunteers, and intelligence gathering. However, Lindsey argues that social media did not create the conditions need for revolt, as the digital networking is based off of “weak links” and operated in concert with other forms of creating mass political movements, such as person-to-person contact and other forms of media. My conclusions from this article are that: the twenty-first century will expand the media clout of non-state actors – NGOs, protestors, terrorists, and individuals – who will capitalize on social media to facilitate their command and control.

Al Jazeera English. “Social Media and Revolution in the Arab World.” The Stream. February 18, 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAuxNXmAbyY

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