Social media shaped political scenario in Arab Revolution, claims study

Washington, Sept 15(ANI): A new study has found that social media had played a significant role in shaping political scenario in the Arab Spring revolution.

The study, which analyzed over three million tweets, Youtube content and numerous blog posts, suggested that protestors used social media to discuss major events and spread the word of revolution.

The research is significant as the team gathered data about technology use and political opinion in Egypt and Tunisia even before the revolutions began, the University of Washington News reports.

The Project on Information Technology and Political Islam assembled data about blogging in Tunisia one month prior to the revolution.

“Our evidence suggests that social media carried a cascade of messages about freedom and democracy across North Africa and the Middle East, and helped raise expectations for the success of political uprising,” Communication Associate Professor Philip Howard said.

“People who shared interest in democracy built extensive social networks and organized political action. Social media became a critical part of the toolkit for greater freedom,” he added.

The study also found that discussions about Tunisia and Egypt revolutions overcame territorial borders.

Howard said although social media did not lead to the revolution in North Africa, it enabled the citizens to play a greater role in shaping domestic politics, and that government’s ban on social media might have incited more protests.

Subsequently protestors took to the streets when they could no longer use the Internet to build solidarity on the issue, Howard said. (ANI)