Youth Digital Citizenship

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.”

Project Proposal:

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.

 

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Youth Digital Citizenship

Digital Organization under Authoritarian Regimes

Throughout both Faris and Ali & El-Sharnouby’s articles, it’s clear that the internet, and specifically social media sites, provide a platform for repressed people to quickly, cheaply, and efficiently organize under a specific issue rather than resorting to traditional activist efforts of organizing in a physical space. Faris talks about the formation of Kefaya in Egypt and the struggles they originally faced in opposition to an authoritarian regime. Attendance rates were low, and due to gender-based violence, many women activists refrained from protesting.

Social media sites are widely accessible and provide a platform for anonymity, but it is also important to note that although social media activism in these environments can be extremely effective, campaigns can be easily skewed. Faris accentuates the point that in these online campaigns, there are many leaders. Perhaps with many leaders comes a wider chance for a movement’s main focus to shift in order to fit the group’s agenda. In the case of We Are All Khaled Said, Ali & El-Sharnouby comment that WAAKS struggles between the true testimony of Said’s beating and the mythic portrayal of a martyr of police brutality that had been associated with Said both on Facebook and in conversation surrounding the campaign.

Ali & El-Sharnouby appear very concerned with this disconnect and make the point that regardless of whether Said was or was not the martyr that WAAKS claims him to be, digital campaigns such as WAAKS are simply unable to fully grasp the social and cultural context of these events. They suggest that Egyptian youth culture and activism does not tackle the uncomfortable, underlying social issues of alienation, substance abuse, religious extremism, unemployment, poor education, etc. and are instead idealizing social change through “heroic stories of martyrdom and sacrifice” (Ali & El-Sharnouby, 90).

Digital Organization under Authoritarian Regimes