Revolution 2.0? Social Media and the Egyptian Revolution

Earlier this week I participated in a panel discussion at West Chester University about the recent revolution in Egypt. Sponsored by the “Contemporary Issues” student organization, the program was titled “The Revolution in Egypt and the Impact of the Mass Media.” Besides myself, panelists included one of my colleagues in the Communication Studies Department, Dr. Ola Kopacz, as well as Dr. Larry Davidson and Dr. Bill Hewitt from the History Department, and Dr. Peter Loedel from the Political Science Department.

My prepared remarks centered around the role of social media in the Egyptian revolution. I traced some of the key recent events in social media, how it may be fueling what Wael Ghonim calls “Revolution 2.0,” and suggested that the “Internet Kill Switch” employed on January 27 may have been the final straw that brought down the Mubarak regime. I argued that the importance of social media to modern democratic participation in civic life urges us to be mindful of the state of Internet freedom in this country, and to understand the stakes in the current battle for “Network Neutrality” policies. I’ve embedded the presentation below.

[Note: The original presentation that was posted to the iWork.com beta is no longer available, because Apple has unfortunately discontinued iWork.com. The above embedded presentation is hosted on slideshare.com, which includes much, but not all of the functionality originally provided by iWork.com.]

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