Facebook Revolution?

The protestors in Tahrir Square, Cairo, explicitly gave credit to Facebook and Twitter for sparking the revolution in Egypt, as well as others across the Middle East and North Africa. Does Facebook and Twitter deserve this credit? I think they earned a tiny little bit of credit, while the kids getting shot at and beaten deserve all the credit for overthrowing their dictators. Check out this animated video of a brief talk by Steven Pinker. He says individual knowledge is when everyone believes that the dictator sucks. But that’s not enough. Mutual knowledge is when everyone knows that everyone else also knows that the dictator sucks. Normally, the dictator would control all means of mass communication (TV, radio, press) and kill anyone who tried to spread word that the dictator is bad. But with the Internet this is practically impossible now. Using Facebook or Twitter a message such as “this dictator sucks!” can spread quickly through a key demographic (young protesters) and create mutual knowledge. So in that sense, social media is an uncontrollable means of mass communication that can help inspire and organize change. They deserve credit for this. But how might one build a website dedicated to inspiring revolutions? What would it look like? Facebook and Twitter would just help spread the message virally. I’m sure someone is putting it together now.

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