twitter

February 20, 2011

By now, it’s clear that social media has played a critical role in fomenting and sustaining public protests across the Middle East...In that vein, the State Department has just launched a new Farsi Twitter account, USAdarFarsi. Its first tweet: “US State Dept recognizes historic role of social media among Iranians. We want to join in your conversations.”

In an effort to dial in a bit on the ways in which Twitter and social media in general have altered the tactical and strategic terrain of popular uprisings, I'll toss out a few ideas that have been taking shape over the course of the past few weeks. Last time I visited this subject, I was skeptical about how determinant an impact social media might have on political revolutions

First, let’s be clear that this was the Egyptian Revolution, not the “Facebook Revolution” or the “Twitter Revolution.” Events of the past few weeks belong wholly to spirit of the Egyptian people, not technology. And although it was built on democratic aspirations, this was not a revolution that drew any inspiration from the United States.

February 14, 2011

In a sense, two different revolutions are ongoing in Egypt. One is a struggle for power, which led to Mubarak's resignation. The other, broader revolution is a transfer of power that puts media in the hands of the people and allows individuals with nothing more than a cell phone to publish, broadcast and tweet to the world in real time.

India will be be “talking real issues” with Pakistan when the two sides resume their peace dialogue, stalled since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in the coming weeks and “talking to neighbours makes good sense” said foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, making her debut on the social networking site Twitter on Friday.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is hosting a global town hall at Twitter headquarters to talk foreign policy with users of the online messaging service. Ambassador Susan Rice will be taking questions from around the world Thursday morning via Twitter and from employees at the company's San Francisco office.

The State Department -- already pretty good at the social media thing -- is now using Twitter to transmit its thoughts to the Arab world in ... Arabic. Foggy Bottom is using @USAbilAraby, which in English means "USA in Arabic."

Egypt's internet activists have played a key role in the pro-democracy protests from the outset, but they tell the BBC that the online campaigning is evolving to suit their real-life activism in Tahrir Square.

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