Online Activism in Egypt

Online activism multiplied the impact of social protest in Egypt: it made political action easier, faster and more universal. In the tightly controlled Egyptian political space, social media enabled activists to circumnavigate the regime’s repressive structures to convince Egyptians in the online world into taking action in the offline one. This was its main success, for a revolution will always be won and lost on the streets. The political uses of online platforms and technologies are extremely transferrable, and are just as clearly seen in the London riots as they were in Tahrir. The first use is as a tool for mobilising citizens by producing material designed to inspire them into action, and to organise their action once recruited. The second is to use online platforms as a medium for citizen journalism to report on the situation.
It was not Facebook, Twitter or YouTube that brought down Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian people did that. But this does not mean that social media and internet-based technologies played no role, or that their role was insignificant, as some have alleged. Rather, events in Egypt and countries across the Middle East and North Africa have shown in the ‘Arab Spring’ that internet platforms and technologies should be seen for what they are: effective tools for the conduct of political campaigns in authoritarian contexts.

Community radio: For Social Change

There is much discussion about the effect on local cultures of the increasingly globalized commercial media output with its well-tried and standard – if not banal – entertainment formats. But one thing is clear: they can never respond to the socio-economic and development needs of the countries they reach, let alone those of marginalized communities within those countries. Hence, globalized media and community media do not compete. The former provides irrelevant entertainment, while the latter deals with local issues in the local languages and cultural context, relating to local problems and concerns, and aiming to help the community develop socially, culturally and economically. The principal functions of community radio are:
To reflect and promote local identity, character and culture by focusing principally on local content. Culture is how the people of a community talk about their past and their cuture. It is what they care about. Like life itself, culture is infinitely variable and constantly evolving. Community culture is also artistic expression through local music, dance, poetry, theatre and story telling. Local performers are encouraged to go on air uninhibited by considerations of the ‘professional standards’ they may have acquired from mainstream media. Culture is also language, so programming includes the languages of any minority groups in the community.
• To create a diversity of voices and opinions on the air through its openness to participation from all sectors. Some discord is present in all communities, but the acknowledgement of con-flict is necessary for democracy and for democratic communities. Community radio tries to air objectively all sides of a discussion without itself taking sides.
To encourage open dialogue and democratic process by providing an independent platform for interactive discussion about matters and decisions of importance to the community. In essence, the core of democratic process is the ability of people to hear and make themselves heard.
To promote social change and development. In marginalized communities people all have their individual perceptions about their situation, but what is required for change and development is a collective perception of the local reality and of the options for improving it. This collective perception can only be achieved through internal discussions to analyse specific problems, identify possible solutions, and mobilize the appropriate people or groups for action. Community radio provides the perfect platform for this internal discussion.
• To promote good governance and civil society by playing a community watchdog role that makes local authorities and politicians more conscious of their public responsibilities. The marginalized and the oppressed normally have no way to complain when authorities take advantage of them, but community radio gives them a voice to air their grievances and obtain their due rights.
Some other functions of community radio include: sharing of information and innovation; giving a voice to the voiceless, especially to women and young people in some societies; and providing a social service as a replacement for the telephone.

Wikipedia: Open Space of Information

Wikipedia is an internet-based encyclopedia that allowed people to create something, share their knowledge and more importantly participate in information sharing. The encyclopedia has become so large that you run across it all the time in Google. In Addition, Wikis in general are growing because they are as simple as can be. That simplicity means that people find them easy to use, just like emails and blogs. Like emails and blogs, Wikis also perform a very useful service in a simple way. A wiki allows a group of people to enter and communally edit bits of texts. These bits of text can be viewed and edited by anyone who visits the wiki. A great number of people around the world use this engine to make research and learn about new things. Its ease of access and reliability have made it more interesting for internet users to get information, and in only one click !
However, one question that may pop in people’s minds is; how accurate are the wikis?

Online Revolutions as Surveillance

Online revolutions are the accounts that currently we encounter in all over the globe such as U.SA. as Occupy Wall Street Movement or Arab Springs in the middle east or lastly Gezi Park Movement that we experienced in the İstanbul, Turkey. The common key point about this movement is that they mostly oriented within the existence of online interventions with usage of facebook, twitter or any form of alternative broadcasting that shows us brutal police violence against the resistant participant. Therefore, these revolutions or movement can be seen as online revolutions because of its spirit and conceptualization regarding to usage of free technology and social media practices.
It was truly emancipated individuals yet I will prefer to focus that how technology also controls us within these movements because in the modern period, surveillance mostly occurred within the existence of the technological possibilities so that it should be remembered that our connections to the internet was cancelled in the demonstration and it was quite difficult to access facebook or twitter because on one hand, servers were overloaded but also government attempted to control via internet with using their power. Also, access to youtube is still problematic in Turkey. There is different ‘illegal’ way to access but citizens not enabled to access youtube.
In this picture, I concern that to use social media organ as a revolutionary components or agents because our connection to it could easily affected and harsh surveillance practices can be occurred. For instance, number of individual arrested just because their twitter account was against the governmental power sources. Thus, it is quite important to realize that while we are mentioning about social media’s powerful practices, it should also be realized that it is highly weak in the sense that official institutional practices. Therefore, my suggestion is that to empower our official right to access internet, supporting of free, unrestricted internet should be added to our discourse in order to make revolutions more secure and effective.

Online Revolution: Communication needs to be as quick as possible

“No one expected it. In a world darkened by economic distress, political cynicism, cultural emptiness and personal hopelessness, it just happened. Suddenly dictatorship could be overthrown with the bare hands of the people, even if their hands had been bloodied by the sacrifice of those fallen. Financial magicians went from being the objects of public envy to the targets of universal contempt. Politicians became exposed as corrupt liars. Governments were denounced. Media were suspected. Trust vanished…[….]” (Castells, 2012: 1).

In this case people need to create a new way to communicate each other for gathering to be a participant of social movements against to this situation. Mainstream media and government are no longer trustable. So that new ways are rising in order to communication, to reach and share information, to represent events surrounding the world. Communication needs to be as quick as possible. The technology is no longer just a helpful tool for talent sourcing specialist, but a vital part of networked social movements.

According to Castells “networked social movements of the digital age representing a new species”. For instance, networked social sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have a remarkable role to play: activists used them to highlight the initial round of protests, to distribute information, to represent events, to be participant of actions and so on. Additionally Blogs are very important to share experiences. To use social media for revolution, protest or struggle shows the life itself. Owing to increase using social media day by day people become powerful, independent, courageous and determined. Therefore it is a huge risk for government. Because basically it creates a more democratic sphere, and also it provides to reach information rapidly. So governments make provision in which banning to web sites and creating fear onto people.

There are many online revolutions around the world struggle for not only political issue but also economic, cultural, social issue and so on. For instance, ‘Movement of Freedom and Democracy’ in Morocco, Occupy Wall Street in U.S. for “income inequality and wealth distribution”, Arab Spring in Arab countries, Gezi Resistance in Turkey.

I want to give details about Arab Spring. Because the revolution has spread to other countries with a domino effect. Arab Spring Revolution was a series of protests and uprisings in the Middle East that began with unrest in Tunisia in late 2010. The Arab Spring has brought down regimes in some Arab countries. The protests included issues such as dictatorship or absolute monarchy, human rights violations, political corruption, economic decline, unemployment and extreme poverty. The Arab Spring began in Tunisia, but the decisive moment that changed the region forever was the downfall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The first mass protest in Egypt was announced on Facebook by an anonymous group of activists, who in a few days managed to attract tens of thousands of people. The social media proved a powerful mobilization tool that helped the activists to outwit the police. Then the Egyptian government attempted to eliminate the nation’s Internet access in order to inhibit the protesters. At the end of the struggle President Morsi was removed to power. In conclusion online revolution play a remarkable and vital role for democracy, human rights and so on.


Castells, M. (2012) Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age. London: Polity Press.

Culture Jam: Hijacking commercial culture

Culture Jamming is a resistance to a dominant hegemonic force. The act of “jamming” can be done in many different ways, whether it is putting up posters with counter-ideologies like Fairey does, or acts of resistance or protest.
The concept of culture jamming really blossomed in most recent years thanks to the increasing technological advancements, especially the internet. For Fairey in particular, plastering posters of scenes of pro-love, anti-war and anti-bush really allows others to question whether or not the messages that we are being told are really the truth, and whether we should really take them at face value or not. The most well known type of culture jamming is subvertising. Subvertisements are creative anti-ads targeted at conspicuous consumption considered endemic of capitalistic societies. These images variously target consumers themselves or large corporations, often with a specific message to get people thinking about what and/or why they buy.
The pictures below are examples of culture jamming/resistance

Digital Storytelling

Storytelling has always been a significant part of history, but the means through which the stories have been told has evolved with each civilization. From the oral histories presented by bards in ancient courts, to the works of scribes during the Renaissance, to newspapers, CNN, and now the Internet, personal narrative has been used to communicate the events of the past. Digital media now combines tradition with technology and allows people to tell stories through voice, text, images, audio, and video. This practice is now mostly used in schools.
Digital storytelling uses multimodal literacy concepts to create knowledge and enhance learning. The process of writing a story, molding it to a specific audience, fitting it within technical and assigned constraints, researching and collecting supporting assets, and crafting it all together requires considering the topic from a number of angles, and promotes a deeper understanding of it.
The link below is a video that tells the story of World War II in 7 minutes:

Hacking: a trend

Hacking is a computer practice that enables the hacker to penetrate a network, a website, a computer, a phone or else, for various purposes. Hacking may also be referred to as computer crime or cybercrime. Examples can be: Fraud, drugt rafficking, cyber terrorism, harrassment, threats…
Chinese hackers are upping the ante in terms of the number of attacks targeted at mobile users; there’s been a worrying increase in malware that is successfully penetrating online banking apps used on Android phones and researchers have developed a virus that infects Wi-Fi points and spreads like the common cold.

Hackers based in China have always been a prolific bunch and in the past have been accused of penetrating a wide range of commercial and military networks lifting everything from blueprints for helicopter designs to industrial control system architecture. But this is part of the hidden cyber war that many countries continuously engage in and we only become aware of when the lid blows of some particular attack such as Stuxnet.

However, the latest revelations merely confirm our suspicions, based on hard evidence, anecdotes and predictable trends, that mobile computing is becoming a big fat target. Malware kits for hacking mobile devices, that is smart phones, are available on the deep web for just short of £10. And its Android phones that are the primary target.

Participatory journalism

Participatory journalism is considered as alternative journalism. In the production of information, journalists use blogs to provide news that are misrepresented or because they do not have access or right to participate. They provide commentary opinion from an oppositional perspective and promote a diversified media space, where the most neglected topics can find a place there. Therefore, “citizens become informed not by consuming information, but by interacting with others around information. It is the process of mutually influencing one another – interaction – that creates the condition of being informed”.(Ryfe & Mensing) This means that the main idea here is to enhance interaction in generating information, which puts the consumers in the position of producers.
Blogs can be a good example, however, they have a few flaws. For instance, they can provide subjective or biased reflections of news, reflections which lack truthfulness, professionalism, accuracy and fairness.

Participatory Journalism

Consumers increase their participation in the new media, they share those content that best suit their satisfaction user experience.

The economic models of content companies become unprofitable while Internet becomes a large window of possibilities in the context of new economy. Why if many sectors of consumption are changing, journalism should be different?

Participatory journalism “is an act of a group of citizens, playing an active role in the process of collecting, creating, analyzing and disseminating news in order to provide independent, reliable, accurate, comprehensive and relevant information that a democracy requires.”

If so, there are still many uncertainties, such as whether the user can participate in all stages of the process of the news or just the selection of topics and data collection, and even know what has to be the real contribution of citizens in building today.

The participatory journalism should have:

Collective Intelligence: Beyond the competition between media and among journalists and citizens. Participation should be the factor to evolve from “the Information Society to the Society of Conversation.”

Share information: Power is not anymore in the new but in how we share it.

Quality: Participation should be safe for most contrasting information and improving the content. It cannot be an excuse to skip responsibility for possible errors.

Against job insecurity: Thinning of the essay is not an excuse to throw towards participatory journalism. Without professional and communicative means no consistency. No reporters no involvement with consistency. Readers cannot become the new journalists. Journalism develops and drags reporters and readers to new moors together.