[Air-L] ISOC Statement on Egypt’s Internet shutdown

Jeremy hunsinger jeremy at tmttlt.com
Mon Jan 31 07:06:19 PST 2011


I think social media has very little to do with this event.  From my
perspective, it looks very much like 1960s-70s organizational
patterns.  Television, radio, etc. has some to do with it though.  I
will say that it is likely that social media is being used to connect
interested transnational elites to some extent, which also then drives
media attention.

On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 10:01 AM, Richard Forno <rforno at infowarrior.org> wrote:
>
> I may end up being labelled a black sheep here, but I find the US media's infatuation with social media in regard to the Middle East protests to be overdone and a distraction for folks in understanding the real issues involved in the Arab world..
>
> In terms of SM, people have been organising and protesting in large numbers all around the world long before the Internet or social media came into being --- but watching much of the US "news" coverage  one is led to think the Internet is the primary force behind the coordination and street-level control of these recent gatherings.
>
> IMHO social media is playing a supporting role in all of this.  Is it helpful?  Sure - but hardly essential.  To wit:  the Egyptian gov cut off many modes of communication helpful for social media applications, but did it adversely impact the protests?  Nope.   What does that tell us?
>
> My view is that SM is very helpful 'strategically" in terms of offering a long-term opportunity for folks to communicate/collaborate/organise along shared views/goals/purposes -- but less so in terms of "hitting the streets" so to speak.  Helpful, sure -- but not absolutely necessary.
>
> I'll defer to those who specialise in this stuff to offer more theoreticaly rooted comments, for I need more caffeine.
>
> -- rick
>
>
> On Jan 31, 2011, at 09:35 , Aziz Douai wrote:
>
>> Dear AoIR scholars,
>>
>> I have been watching the contribution of social media to the street protests
>> in Tunisia, Egypt, and other parts of the Middle East.
>>
>> My question: What sort of theories would best explain social media's role in
>> the contagion-like spread of these popular movements?
>>
>> Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated.
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> Aziz
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 11:26 PM, Sari <angyjoe at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Nice wishes from the west of the world! But…
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> One subtle thing the world can learn from this is that democracy is about
>>> confronting, confronting all those incurable diseases with whatever you
>>> have
>>> in your artillery. In all western democracies, the present practice allows
>>> few influential lobbyists to make all the decisions of the state, whereas
>>> the rest of the people are just "consumers". Even if participating
>>> personally in political affairs is not possible when population is big, the
>>> present practice still deserves some big yell!
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> /Sari
>>>
>>>
>>> On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 11:54 PM, Richard Forno <rforno at infowarrior.org
>>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> The Internet Society on Egypt’s Internet shutdown
>>>>
>>>> We are following the current events in Egypt with concern as it appears
>>>> that all incoming and outgoing Internet traffic has been disrupted. The
>>>> Internet Society believes that the Internet is a global medium that
>>>> fundamentally supports opportunity, empowerment, knowledge, growth, and
>>>> freedom and that these values should never be taken away from
>>> individuals.
>>>>
>>>> The Internet Society considers this recent action by the Egyptian
>>>> government to block Internet traffic to be an inappropriate response to a
>>>> political crisis. It is a very serious decision for a government to block
>>>> all Internet access in its country, and a serious intrusion into its
>>>> citizens’ basic rights to communicate.  If the blockage continues, it
>>> will
>>>> have a very detrimental impact on Egypt’s economy and society.
>>> Ultimately,
>>>> the Egyptian people and nation are the ones that will suffer, while the
>>> rest
>>>> of the world will be worse off with the loss of Egyptian voices on the
>>> net.
>>>>
>>>> However we are most concerned about the safety and security of the
>>> Egyptian
>>>> people.  Alongside the rest of the world, we share the hope for a
>>> positive
>>>> and lasting solution to the problems that have risen to the surface
>>> there.
>>>>
>>>> In the longer term, we are sure that the world will learn a lesson from
>>>> this very unfortunate example, and come to understand that cutting off a
>>>> nation’s access to the Internet only serves to fuel dissent and does not
>>>> address the underlying causes of dissatisfaction.
>>>>
>>>> http://isoc.org/wp/newsletter/?p=3091
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> The Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
>>>> is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
>>>> Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at:
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>>>>
>>>> Join the Association of Internet Researchers:
>>>> http://www.aoir.org/
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
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>>> _______________________________________________
>>> The Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
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>>>
>>> Join the Association of Internet Researchers:
>>> http://www.aoir.org/
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>>
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Aziz Douai, Ph.D.
>> Assistant Professor
>> Faculty of Social Science and Humanities
>> University of Ontario Institute of Technology
>> 55 Bond Street East
>> Oshawa, ON   L1G 0A5
>>
>> Tel: 905.721.8668, ext. 3790
>> Fax:    905.721.3372
>> E-mail: aziz.douai at uoit.ca
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring
>> it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both."  James
>> Madison, 1822
>>
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> _______________________________________________
>> The Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
>> is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
>> Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at: http://listserv.aoir.org/listinfo.cgi/air-l-aoir.org
>>
>> Join the Association of Internet Researchers:
>> http://www.aoir.org/
>>
>
> _______________________________________________
> The Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
> is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
> Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at: http://listserv.aoir.org/listinfo.cgi/air-l-aoir.org
>
> Join the Association of Internet Researchers:
> http://www.aoir.org/
>



-- 
jeremy hunsinger
Center for Digital Discourse and Culture
Virginia Tech
www.tmttlt.com

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