Before getting started with the topic I am doing research on (ethic and legal issues to bear in mind when using social media content in news coverage) I want to share with you all something I came across while surfing the Net.
Social Media currently play an important role. This is something that goes almost without saying. Nevertheless, the way they are used in democratic countries differs from that one in states ruled by authoritarian regimes, where social media are the voice of the people who protest, demonstrate or even take part in a revolution.
In developed countries, tools such as twitter are basically used by traditional media to interact with their active audiences, to pick up stories from time to time or occasionally to get a scoop. Whereas, Tunisians, Iranians or Moldavians (all them are just examples) have used social networking tools to let others know about what their governments are tried to silence. Therefore, providing content for a worldwide media mass audience thirsty of actuality.
Can we talk then of a social network revolution?
What’s Happening in Tunisia? The nature of censorship in Tunisia has been well documented, so in the absence of international and domestic news coverage, the protests that have taken place in the country have largely been documented online. This NDItech DemocracyWorks blog post analyses this by itself revolutionary fact in Tunisia.
Inside Moldova’s Twitter Revolution Protests in the former Soviet republic of Moldova took place in April 2009. Demonstrator gathered in Chisinau’s main square against communist rulers. And they were Tweeting, posting and uploading what was going on. Perfect picture drawn by Nathan Hodge.
Iran’s Twitter revolution June 2009. Iran had seen how general elections handed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a victory. Demonstrations and riots lifted by what The Washington Times‘ editorial calls “the spirit of liberty”. This opinion article deals with the slow reaction Tehran’s government showed to eliminate social media and how people managed to find their voice through social networking tools and spread the word.
So what do you think? Are social media playing a different role in democratic countries than in oppressed ones?