Recent political upheavals in the former Soviet States and the Arab uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa have been celebrated as the triumph of new media over authoritarian and repressive regimes. Like earlier communication tools, such as the printing press and the telegraph, social media were viewed by many as a liberating technology, inherently democratic and democratising, and the key to positive political change.
In 2012, the EJC published Revolution: Share!, a book that 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.
Revolution: Share! is an exploration of 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 attributes, their use by non-democratic actors, and the very nature of democratic processes.
The book is available on the EJC's website.
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