The first reading addresses the issue many countries in the Middle East are facing with their government and how social media affects this. The web site article mentions how many bloggers would much rather be activists through social media platforms than becoming journalist. Bloggers mention if they were to become journals it would take away the freedom to say what they want and would hinder their ability to push boundaries. They see journalist as simply “reporting” what is going on which takes away from using specific street language or event starting movements. The internet platform is a very important tool for example, bloggers in Tunisia posted testimonials videos of former political figures that ended up in prison. These videos allow movements to spark and help people see what really is happening in their country. The article also discusses how the government will prohibit the use of certain cites because they know how impactful they can be and fear the power they can have.
The second reading is about Bassel Khartabil who developed a free software which granted access to the internet to help his country start free culture movements. He wanted people to be able to “gain new tools to express themselves and communicate.” In Syria the internet is censored and Bassel went against the law so he was detained. Like his friend Joi Ito says, ” It is a reminder that community members do work that is dangerous.” I think it is important to see how far people will go to be able to do the right things even though it is seen as wrong through the governments eyes. The more I learn about other countries the more I see how truly free we are in America. Imagine living somewhere where they censor something we use everyday, for example, like Facebook?
It was interesting to see how bloggers in the Middle East are in a way more motivated than other parts of the world. The people trust bloggers than they do the journalist. Even though the government is doing what they can to stop the bloggers they are more reliable because they voice their true positions regardless of government ideologies and threats. They know that they can be punished for doing so, but they do it anyway; this allows them to become a reliable source of information for the people. They are seen as activist rather than journalist and use that power to advocate their cause local and internationally as well as bring people together.
An example of a blogger would be Bassel. He is praised for his activism through technology but was taken away. The article takes about his own personal build up to become an activist through media. He developed a skill and shared it with the Arab world, but the government saw that as a threat, just like they see large gatherings as a threat. Even though his intentions weren’t to directly attack the government, the service he provided for the public was enough for a red flag to go up.
After reading this article I was able to better understand the process new generations undergo to come to the decision to up rise against repeated issues. Last week we learned about Khaled Said movement and how that aided in the revolution in Egypt. One of this week’s article focused on how the new generation uses social media as a method of protesting at a global scale. Social media allows the new generation to establish a global presence while staying connected in their present environment.
In Egypt the new generation conducted sit ins and civil protests against the regime that existed in Egypt. Social media played a large role in spreading the horrors that were occurring in the country at the time. For example, a sit in that was conducted could be uploaded to Facebook and shared with millions of people world wide. This is the worlds current method of mass communication and mass exploitation. In comparison to previous generations, the newer generations must assert their rights in a digital sense. This means that from a young age they understand that the world is connected through the web and therefore expression is obtained in the form of social media.
Protesting to the newer generations come in the form of social media exploitation. Long forgotten are the times of physical pretests and mass gatherings to express ideas. The socially connected world has allowed people to express themselves that does not involve traveling, coordination, or courage. It is much easier to post a rant on social media than to physically attend a rally where physical harm might linger. So do you believe that the Revolution would of or would not have happen if social media was not involved? Like Raggal stated, “Revolutions take place first of all in our minds.”
I am still trying to figure out what exact to do for the project. I think doing extensive research on a current issue in the Middle East is something that interests me and following it by creating a video addressing the issue. I would also like to see my peers ideas and work with people with similar interests.
After the R-Shief 4.0 workshop I realized how important the language is to be able to understand what you are researching about. I agree on the fact that if you are going to be working and investigating the problems of a country, it is very important for you to emerge in that country. Apart from living in it and experiencing what the natives are you should learn the language, because with the translation many expressions and particular words are lost this is due to the lack of an exact translation of the information or specific words. Reading about the problem, in this case, of the Middle East in Arab will enrich the researcher on his field and will make him become twice as aware as if the information had been translated to another language.
However a bit of controversy will rise because no translation will mean that people who are just interested to know about what is happening throughout the world, won’t have the privilege to get informed and therefore the ignorance will increase drastically as people will just know things that happen in their county or the countries that speak the same language. It’s impossible to learn every language in the world, therefore having information translated will allow creating a change as more people would be aware and willing to take part of the development.
R-Shief overall has many interesting ideas that will allow media to become more accessible and the users to search for what they want and the way they want that information.