Can Twitter Lead People to the Streets

October 19, 2010 – 6:45 pm | by omer
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Media has claimed that social networking sites are fastest source of spreading information and awareness, and thus have given birth to new form of activism. Protests during Iran’s last years general election is the glaring example of such activities says Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker.


According to Malcolm Gladwell Social Networks boost the level to which people contribute as it does not necessitate physical presence.
Social movements accomplish something only when protesters are prepared to do whatever is necessary. The most significant factor in such movements is to motivate masses who are otherwise negligent and least concerned with what’s happening around them. This is where Social networks step in; they not only make communication easy but also aid in enlightening, influencing and convincing a large number of people.
The invention of Television (another medium of communication) was one important tool in the success of civil rights movement. It influenced the masses more than any organization could have.
Social media has proved to be even more dominant and significant in revolutionizing the world. Till the 1960s, any issue had to be high profiled in order to catch people’s attention, whereas now sites like you-tube has global audience glued to it. Any issue big or small is treated equally.

Social networking is most affective in conservative and oppressive nations that suppress free speech. Authoritarian administrations uphold their supremacy by restricting the surge of information to and amongst citizens. Internet is helping bridging this gap between communal and individual communication. In this case the Government will have limited power to keep things from the civilians as eliminating every message, statement, blog and article is a prolonged and impractical process.

This technology makes the 21st century more open and liberal and when protestors in oppressive governments hold remonstrations, people across the Globe hear about them.

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