Reflection on Zeynep Tufekci & Christoper Wilsons “Social Media and the Decision to Participate in Political Protest: Observations From Tahrir Square” by Willi Ibbeken

Based on the text “Social Media and the Decision to Participate in Political Protest: Observations From Tahrir Square” I will reflect on the issue whether a political revolution should be labelled “Facebook Revolution”.

The term „Facebook Revolution“ implies that revolutions like in Egypt only happened because of Facebook. Facebook is “only” a tool. Sure, it is a very powerful and useful tool, when used effectively but it is still a tool. It is up to us, wheather we use it in a good or bad way. In my opinion, we are attributing so much power and meaning to social networks like Facebook  and forget about the people and the act of real participation. We exaggerate its impact. It is not a Facebook revolution it is a people’s revolution. Regarding the discourse about the influence of social networks on revolutions, it is often mentioned that social networks have triggered the protests. In my opinion social networks are not the triggers. People are the triggers.

During the Egypt revolution, social networks were referred to as organizational tools. Like it was the case in Facebook groups such as “6 April “or” Khalid Said “, when the call for a demonstration on the 25.01.2011 was raised. But  individuals still needed a lot of courage to really participate in the real protest.

The instrumentalization of social media for the movement in the country created a valve and platform for mass political expression of opinion and that the individual was encouraged in his/her right to resist. But social media themselves are not responsible for what happened – they were and are an effective and rapid tool of communication and formation of opinion.

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