The Role of Social Networks in Egypt’s January 2011Revolution

Hosni Mohamed Naser

Abstract


This paper examines the role of the online social networks, especially Facebook, during the Egyptian revolution in January 2011. Analysis of a sample of pages shows how these networks helped people exchange information before, during and after the 18 days revolution which ended the reign of former president - Hosni Mubarak. The study analyzes how online discussions and media coverage before the revolution enabled citizens to communicate with each other and share content online, and eventually move their revolutionary ideas from the virtual world to the streets of Egypt. Analysis shows that during the revolution, social media functioned as a political organizer, an alternative media, and a medium for citizen journalism. The study reveals that social media created an alternative public sphere for Egyptian activists, thus helping them communicate their ideas with the general public without restraints. In addition, social networks provided people with the opportunity and the freedom to discuss their country’s situation at all levels. Success of the revolution shows the important role social media plays as a means of information sharing. The study concludes that using social media networks helped the Egyptian revolution and had significant impact on the democratic transition in Egypt.

 


Keywords


Egypt- 25th January Revolution- Social networks media- Facebook- Social movements

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jass.vol6iss2pp33-48

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