This is a fascinating info-graphic depicting Egypt’s social media organization and uprising. Kovas Boguta, the creator of this map, describes the connections between Twitter users on his blog. He does a great job at explaining the shape and character of the graphic as well as pointing out some of the key tweeters like Wael Gohnim (This is Ghonim’s favorite song).
|Protester attacked by camel at recent demonstration.|
Egypt is Demonstrating Tactical Media and the power of Social Networking
|The key to ignition.|
Facebook, Twitter, SMS and blogs were crucial organizing tools that ignited the social movements in Cairo. Inspiration came from the recent uprising in Tunisia. News of that rebellion reached many Egyptians very quickly with the help of the Internet. Egypt remixed the Tunisian experience by appropriating the Jasmine Revolution and applying it to their January 25th, Police Day. Someone made the protest an event on Facebook and 80,000 people signed up. These media flows of dissent have been speculated to go viral and create rebellion throughout the Muslim world.
These events highlight the ideas behind Tactical Media as defined by Alessandra Renzi in her chapter on Democracy and Media. Tactical Media is temporal, polymorphic, and collective. It is not predefined, but continuously reshaped by different actors and contexts. NGOs and other social justice organizations have clearly articulated objectives to alter preexisting conditions; whether they are alleviating poverty, calling for corporate accountability, or racial equality. Tactical Media is more immediate in the constant reconfigurations of its work and objectives. It is not a homogeneous entity within a network, but rather a “networked space” that is constantly produced until it becomes redundant (p. 76). Space in the world of Tactical Media is a social construction. Imagination is the site of contest.
Assendra stresses the importance of linking the social activism of the virtual world with face-to-face contact. Events organized on the Internet use the many-to-many platform to build support amongst the masses, but meeting in person builds more cooperation and trust. Malcom Gladwell has noted this in his New Yorker articles on social media and high-risk activism. Bonds between Facebook friends, he argues, are just not as strong as real life friends.