Civil and political unrest has erupted in parts of the Middle East. Entire countries like Libya, Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen and Egypt are dealing with protestors who are rising up in an attempt to affect change. After seeing success in Egypt, other countries are encouraged with their chances of change and following much of the same course as those in Tunisia and Egypt started.
Along with other issues, Egypt’s youth has experienced significant unemployment for a long time. This younger demographic led much of the uprising and used social media outlets to organize their revolt. So as the string telephone goes, many who are less familiar with situations are wondering how social media caused these riots. Social media, of course, did not cause the civil unrest, frustrated citizens and ineffective govenments caused the riots. Social media simply fueled them.
In search of free political and/or free economic systems, citizens are using the ubiquitous channels that are social media (primarily Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube) to organize and communicate with each other and the rest of the world. So effective are these tools that some governments are shutting down or severely throttling web access while other governments are encouraging its continued use. Some Governments are so threatened by the power this new style of communication presents they are even prosecuting users for using it.
It seems very appropriate to discuss how Governments are treating social media here on this event. To do so, we are employing the expert services of Alexander B. Howard, the Government 2.0 Correspondent for O’Reilly Media. Alexander’s take on the world’s governments use of social media will certainly enlighten whether you are interested in Gov2.0 or enterprise2.0 as citizen’s expectations will certainly be changed forever. The topic and questions we will use are below:
Government & Social Media: The Global & Local Impacts
- How effective is own government using social media in the Middle East? (and how other governments are blocking, censoring or filtering it)
- How citizens are using social media at home?
- What privacy, security and identity issues are raised by those trends
Please join us in this online chat on Tuesday, February 22 at noon ET. Follow #sm99 from your favorite Twitter client or simply go to our LIVE page at www.hashtagsocialmedia.com/live. The format will stay the same with the first question starting at noon and a new question coming every 20 minutes at 12:20 and 12:40.