social media

During the street demonstrations in Tunis, amidst the signs demanding “Ben Ali Out” were placards saying “Thank you, Al Jazeera.”

January 24, 2011

The African country that has the highest percentage of people with Facebook accounts is Tunisia, at 18%. That's triple the penetration of the social-media service in repressive Egypt.

Evgeny Morozov, a noted specialist on the use of new communications technologies to promote democratic values, has a new book titled "The Net Delusion: The Dark Side Of Internet Freedom." In it, he argues that hype about "Twitter revolutions" and the enormous potential of the Internet to promote open societies and roll back authoritarianism is naive and overblown.

The internet alone won't set anyone free. Between north Africa and Belarus, we are learning just what it can and can't do...What contribution do websites, social networks and mobile phones make to popular protest movements? Is there any justification for labelling the Tunisian events, as some have done, a "Twitter Revolution" or a "WikiLeaks Revolution"?

A new social networking site that aims to connect Bahraini and American entrepreneurs was officially launched yesterday. The Entrepreneurship Portal, known as e-pad (www.epad-bh.com), is an online portal dedicated to young Bahraini and American entrepreneurs, seeking broader access to growth markets, investors and mentors in the developing world.

“Hope” is the first lesson the Arab street is learning through the Tunisian experience. For decades, the Arab peoples have been depressed, felt helpless and had to live with the injustices, the failures and repressions of their post-colonial states. For the first time, an Arab people, Tunisians, have won against one of their regimes. The event had an echo among all Arab peoples. Many of them felt this strengthened their trust in themselves and their hope in the future.

Wikileaks may be a shock to the system, but it also might bring certain public diplomacy benefits.

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