Participants in varying but recent citizen-led social movements in Kenya, Iran, Tunisia, and Egypt have found new voices by employing new ICTs. In some cases, new ICTs were used to mobilize citizens to join and/or to encourage use of violence against other ethnicities. In nearly all cases, the combined use of new ICTs kept the world informed of developments as ensuing protests progressed. In most cases, the use of new ICTs as alternative media motivated international actors' intervention in averting or resolving ensuing crises. Foregoing engagements have also induced state actions such as appropriation of Internet and mobile phone SMS for counter-protest message dissemination and/or termination of citizens' access. Against the background of the sociology and politics of social movements and a focus on the protests in Kenya and Egypt, this chapter broaches critical questions about recent social movements and processes: to what extent have the uses of new ICTs served as alternative platforms for positive citizens' communication? When is use of new ICTs convertible into "weapons of mass destruction"? When does state repression or take-over of ICTs constitute security measures, and when is such action censorship? In the process, the chapter appraises the roles of local and international third parties to the engagement while underscoring conceptual definitions whose usage in studies of this kind should be conscientiously employed. Authors offer suggestions for future investigations.
|Title of host publication
|New Media Influence on Social and Political Change in Africa
|Number of pages
|Published - Jun 30 2013
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Computer Science
- General Engineering