Egypt: all of a Twitter?

Posted on February 13th, 2011 by Bernie Russell
This is a strong post from Jay Rosen warning against glib claims and counter-claims about the impact of social media on the Egyptian revolution. 

Here’s my two penn’orth, which I sent as a comment:

You might want to look at this piece about the 1979 Iranian revolution.
There is a parallel with Egypt. Khomeini’s supporters spread his message all over Iran on smuggled cassette tapes. In comparing the Iranian revolution to others, the author describes this as an “anomalous or unprecedented detail”. 

Perhaps this use of decentralised, distributive technology was itself a precedent?

There may be another precedent, of course, lurking in the Burke quote* that kicks off the piece. But let’s hope not.

*Edmund Burke cast an indignant eye across the English Channel at the French Revolution and wrote sarcastically: “Amidst assassination, massacre and confiscation, they are forming plans for the good order of future society.”

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