It appears that Twitter has become one of the liberty-voices in many un-democratic countries. Using the little bird social website, we were (also) updated with live news from recent wars (e.g . Egypt or Libya).
Clay Shirky, Foreign Affairs editor, wrote in January/February issue an article named The Political Power of Social Media, where it is presented the first e-revolution.
On January 17, 2001, during the impeachment trial of Philippine President Joseph Estrada, loyalists in the Philippine Congress voted to set aside key evidence against him. Less than two hours after the decision was announced, thousands of Filipinos, angry that their corrupt president might be let off the hook, converged on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, a major crossroads in Manila. The protest was arranged, in part, by forwarded text messages reading, “Go 2 EDSA. Wear blk.” The crowd quickly swelled, and in the next few days, over a million people arrived, choking traffic in downtown Manila.
10 years later, we can read in real time a current war using hashtags (#). My grandfather was a soldier in World War II. I wonder what would have written if he had had a mobile phone with Twitter.
Another interesting point of view is presented in Foreign Policy, July/August issue, where Blake Hounshell is wondering if she is a revolutionary due to the fact that night and day she posted on Twitter about Egypt conflict.
Since January, I’ve also been tweeting about the Arab revolutions, pretty much day and night. Does that make me a revolutionary? Not at all. Despite all the sweeping talk about it, Twitter isn’t the maker of political revolutions, but the vanguard of a media one. In just a short time, it has become a real-time information stream for international-news junkies. So forget all the extravagant other claims for it. Isn’t that one revolutionary enough?
@NiuB – William Andrew Albano (Taipei writer)
@markmackinon – journalist (Canadian correspondent)
@gadyepstein – Economist Beijing reporter
@melissakchan – Al Jazeera English correspondent
@USEmbPretoria – US Embassy in South Africa
@baldaufji – Christian Science Monitor journalist
@uanbirrell – co-founder of Africa Express