‘Dig­i­tal Revolt?’

Southasia - - Editor's mail - Hamza Sheikh, Chit­tagong, Bangladesh

A dic­ta­tor top­pled by Twit­ter or ousted through the ef­forts of a Face­book group seems to be a far-fetched idea. As SouthAsia’s in­ter­na­tional piece last month pointed out, so­cial me­dia can be given the credit for re­fu­el­ing po­lit­i­cal ac­tivism around the globe but it is by no means a sub­sti­tute for the hu­man en­ergy that can cause global re­ver­ber­a­tions. There seem to be so­cial me­dia an­a­lysts out there who an­a­lyze var­i­ous po­lit­i­cal conflicts and more re­cently the Arab world tur­moil and at­tempt to fig­ure out, through plenty of spec­u­la­tion, which up­ris­ing will mark the first true so­cial me­dia revo­lu­tion. Let me say though the idea is very en­tic­ing, the oc­cur­rence of a "so­cial me­dia revo­lu­tion," at this point, is nei­ther note­wor- thy nor re­mark­able. In fact if a dic­ta­tor is over­thrown or a gov­ern­ment ousted, it would be in­ter­est­ing to note if so­cial me­dia were or were not used. Agreed that these tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments have been ground­break­ing and have the po­ten­tial to be used to amass sup­port, to com­mu­ni­cate with like-minded peo­ple and spread the word, but the spec­u­la­tion that rev­o­lu­tions can take place in front of a key­board is not valid in the present set­ting. All the same, the phe­nom­e­non should be given credit for be­ing a pow­er­ful tool to bring about change.

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