One of the reasons I decided to post about this was this article on TechCrunch: The #Tunisian Revolution Wasn’t Televized, But You Could Follow It On Twitter
The revolution was televised, you were just watching the wrong channel.
There is a lot to say about the role Social Media played in this, I do think that a lot of people seem to be missing the point on what exactly Social Media can and does do in shaping events. Think back to the Iran Elections and how the lack of context really sent many main stream media organisations down the wrong path on how to cover an event using stories from social networks. If my memory serves me correctly, at one point during the IranElections we had over 250,000 tweets using the tag #iranelections – I wonder how many tweets came out about #sidibouzid?
In Tunisia, it was not about mobilising people through Social Media, it was about broadcasting what was going on to those who chose to listen. Without the tweets, facebook posts or YouTube videos we would not have known about the initial protests… or would we? Only once mainstream media picks up on a story and decides what importance it should have, do people really notice what is going on (Iran Elecations case in point). Tunisia has been developing for the past 29 days – but only now do people seem to really notice it, once they’ve seen the news on their local television station. People still turn to mainstream media to get their information. The challenge is in what mainstream media would consider to be important news… The techcrunch article has a couple of other good tweets discussing what other media organisations in the US were talking about during the events earlier in Tunisia.
Evgeny Morozov has a great post on the this topic and it is well worth a read.
If you only found out about the events in Tunisa in the past 24hours, perhaps its time for you reconsider who you get your news from? A good start would be to check out the amazing coverage our web team has been working on since the events started almost a month ago over here.
And if you dont want to miss the next big story because your twitter trends didn’t tell you about it, you may want to set Al Jazeera as your homepage, or follow us on twitter or follow us on facebook.