How Much Did Social Media contribute to Revolution in the Middle East?
Tweets were sent. Dictators were toppled. Internet = democracy. QED. Sadly, this is the level of nuance in most popular accounts of the Internet's contribution to the recent unrest in the Middle East.
Consider, for example, the quite representative testimony of Chris Taylor, Mashable.com's San Francisco's bureau chief, who, after a few disclaimers about the real-world organizing that preceded the Egypt revolt, delivers this breathless estimation how Facebook's revolutionary power has transformed the very foundation for conceiving of social change. Never before have we "created a club that's half a billion people strong and growing faster than ever," Taylor writes, "a club with room in it for literally any point of view. And we've certainly never carried that club in our pockets, around the world." This, in Taylor's
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