Social Media Substitutes a Voice to the Silenced

In USA on June 14, 2011 by pris0fcourse Tagged: , , ,

There have been a lot going on lately in parts of the world where people were hindered from expressing themselves freely. I have identified a trend where social media (especially Facebook and Twitter) have aided a way to “cheat” the system.

I think the Speak 2 Tweet idea by Google, Twitter, and voice-messaging startup SayNow was a very important one. The world needed to know what was going on and the Egyptians needed to be heard.

During the midst of the chaos in Egypt a young man Khaled Said was one of the many who were brutally murdered by the Egyptian  police. The victim wasn’t there to tell his story, but Facebook (FB) was; Google’s Executive Manager Cairo Wael Ghonim created a FB group, “We are all Khaled Said” where he brought attention to the way he died and contributed to growing rebellion leading up to the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.  

Ghonim was kidnapped by the Egyptian police. Fortunately he was rescued and told his story to the world on that same day. Watch the full interview with English subtitles below:

Not only Egypt, but also Bahrain, Libya and Iran turned to social media networks Facebook, Twitter and YouTube video sharing to ignite a revolution.

I think the use of social media tools during crisis’s are essential and sometimes even the only way for voices to be heard and the “real” truth to come out. A big minus point is credibility; any hoodwink could write a post.

2 Responses to “Social Media Substitutes a Voice to the Silenced”

  1. You raise a very important point here about the trend for people in countries where oppressive governments control the media to use social media to make their voices heard. The video you chose to share is a very powerful story of a man who clearly has gone through unimaginable stress and anguish for his own role in the sacrifices that so many youth in his country made as part of their revolution of thought.

    Your challenge in this post came from lots of mixed themes which ended up making your main point a bit unclear. Starting with the title where you note that social media “substitutes a voice to the silenced.” Do you mean that social media was the voice which the silenced turned to in order to find their voice – or that social media became a substitute for the voices of the people where a small number of voices dominated and spoke for everyone?

    Outside of this, the biggest confusion was that you note how important social media has been to offer a voice to the silenced, yet the video seems to demonstrate the power of what anyone might call “traditional” media – a journalist interviewing an eyewitness as part of a news media program. How do you feel social media fit into this example? For Speak2Tweet also – visiting that Twitter feed looks like a long list of unrelated voice tweets which could be about anything. Did you think that was effective to offer a voice to the silenced? If so, we need to hear more about why.

    Finally, your last point about how credibility matters and anyone can post anything ended up somewhat undermining the rest of the post as you left us wondering whether you felt that the man in the video was trying to hoodwink us, or if you feel that this lack of credibility compromised any of the other voices of this revolution? Throwing an important last point into your post without exploring it further is a tough place to end because you will usually end up leaving your reader wondering what you really meant. (3)

  2. Thank you!

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