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

Mathieu ONeil mathieu.oneil at anu.edu.au
Mon Jan 31 07:28:53 PST 2011

I sit somewhere in the  middle: its true that on-the-ground activism dominates but if Facebook  etc had no impact then why would the authorities shut the Net down along  phones? Journalist accounts out that point out that everyone wants to  "friend" them so in those countries people are getting some info through  those channels. I reckon this is having more impact than "the role of  Twitter in Iran" last year which was indeed largely a projection from  outside though my evidence is anecdotal at best.

----- Original Message -----
From: Jeremy hunsinger <jeremy at tmttlt.com>
Date: Monday, January 31, 2011 4:06 pm
Subject: Re: [Air-L] ISOC Statement on Egypt’s Internet shutdown
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org

> 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
> >

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