Project news & updates

EJC’s New Book, Revolution: Share!, Explores the Democratic Heart of Social Media

14 June 2012 | PRESS RELEASE


Today’s revolutionary movements have a new common face. There is no use looking for The Che, and certainly not for Martin Luther King or Marx. They all belong to the past. Nowadays, revolutionary icons are clickable. 

Like the printing press and the telegraph that came before it, social media is considered by many to be a liberating technology, inherently democratic and democratising, and the key to positive political change. 

EJC’s new book, Revolution: Share!, takes a fresh look at the role social media play in pro-democratic movements. Tackling a number of assumptions and generally held opinions, the author, Moran Barkai, examines these developments in order to get a closer look at the real influence that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like have on political change. 

Social media are said to raise political participation; facilitate free speech where it is restricted by the State; favour the formation and mobilisation of opposition forces; challenge state-controlled media; and raise awareness about acts of oppression. But when digital networkers dream of revolution, they might have to consider a more complex and nuanced reality. Revolution: Share! is an exploration into social media’s potential in opposing repressive regimes, but also a critical look at how this potential is limited or even neutralised by some of the media’s own characteristics, its use by non-democratic actors, and the very nature of democratic processes. 

The EJC has been involved for many years with media and civil society actors throughout the world, in particular with those operating in Europe’s neighbourhood. Promoting media literacy, journalistic excellence, and free speech, it is also a major actor in the development and research of innovation in journalism. 

Moran Barkai is a writer and freelance journalist, working on the Middle East and media issues. She has been collaborating with the EJC since 2011. 

For further information and book orders, please contact Head of Maastricht Operations, Bianca Lemmens: Email: Phone: +31 43 325 4030

Revolution: Share!
In 2012, the EJC published an extensive study on the effects of social media on pro-democratic movements in authoritarian regimes. Analysing the interplay between social media and societal actors such as civil society, governmental forces, revolutionary movements, diaspora, and mainstream media, the book examines how each of these interactions can affect the democratic process.