Is social media the best way to protest certain issues? This question was discussed indirectly through previous blog posts and in person. From reading this week’s articles and discussions, my immediate answer to this question has changed. At first I thought in order to create great political change was to have a laptop and an internet connection to do the job. But as read more and more background information about what factored and influenced these young people to rise up and fight for their rights. Once again I’m using the social revolution in Egypt during the beginning of 2011 as my frame of reference and tangible example for my argument. On one hand the social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Were an amazing outlet to input, inform and discuss several issues the young people of Egypt were dealing with, issues like police brutality, corruption, right to peaceful assembly, etc. Another aspect of this way of protest was a more covert way to discuss among fellow protesters and able to send information of their struggle to the outside world to raise more awareness of what really is going on there. Last aspect this medium gave more impact was a easier way to rally others and keep track of fellow protesters through Facebook pages like “We are all Khaled Said”
On the other hand it has some potential pitfalls, one possible scenario is once the controlling government figures out that there using social networks to protest and showing pictures or videos of their horrible acts. They could in turn shut down localized feeds to those specific sites or shut down the whole Internet in the region altogether. Furthermore the postings, blogs and articles would not really solve the problem, only telling people that something is wrong. In order to make any sort change both long and short term. The protesters have to leave their tablets, smartphones and computers behind, take it to the streets and make that change happen for themselves. As the main admin of the “We are all Khaled Said” page Wael Ghonim continues to say in several interviews after the social revolution in Egypt. He continues to downplay his role and agrees whole heartedly that he was not the real hero. He explains the young people in the streets protesting in person about these issues are the real heroes.
To conclude I will discuss some of the possible ideas I have for my project I will work on with several others in the class. One idea is using a series of memes, PSA’s or Vines to make a satirical critique and raise awareness of these human rights issues in the Middle East. Another idea is to take a traditional approach and build a webpage on programs like Square-space to raise awareness and discuss about these issues.