Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

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Blog 2: Social Networks and Wikileaks

April 12th, 2011 · 2 Comments

The use of social media has morphed from a form of procrastination into a vehicle of global change. During the past few months, the revolutionary spirit has swept through the Middle East, inspiring countries to overturn their oppressive governments. Facebook, Twitter and other Internet sites have been the driving force behind these revolutions, informing people of what is really going on in other parts of the world. Wikileaks has also been a new force in the media, presenting us with classified information that the government felt it did not need to show us. Social media in general has changed the way we receive news. Major media corporations no longer have the watchdog tendencies we used to associate with journalism. They are large corporations driven mostly profit, therefore they do not have the people’s interests at heart.

In Social Networks, Social Revolutions, we see how social networks helped people join together in order to change the system. The internet is amazing in the ways that it can bring people together, whether they are sports fiends, gamers or people who believe that they need to join together to overthrow a regime. When Mubarak shut down the Internet, it did not stop people from sharing information. It spurred them on to get out information in other ways, helping it spread throughout the world.
I think Wikileaks is one of the most amazing things to happen to the American people. For decades, the US has not given people the real story as to what they are doing overseas, and Wikileaks exposes the violence and corruption that really goes on in the world. If more people combined the information we received from sites such as Wikileaks and combined it with the social reach of Facebook and Twitter, we might be able to actually change more oppressive governments in the world and make a change for the better.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1    sharonak // Apr 13, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I think social networks have changed the world in way that probably seemed impossible before facebook, or linkedin. People are able to put up anything they want and have people comment, view or even save on their own computers. I think agree with you because Wikileaks lets us know that we aren’t being told everything that is going on and the government does need to make changes because obviously something isn’t right here.

  • 2    Prof. Hala // Apr 19, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Two of your observations are especially critical. A point defenders of WikiLeaks’ strategy emphasize is the failure of mainstream news organizations to fulfill their “watchdog” role. As you write,”Major media corporations no longer have the watchdog tendencies we used to associate with journalism.” This is how/why WikiLeaks justifies its unconventional/radical strategy for obtaining and disseminating news.

    The fact that Egyptian protesters were able to mobilize even after the gvt shut down, as you note, the internet points to the existence of ties among the people that were not mediated by the internet — “real world” connections. This suggests that it was not the technology alone that enabled revolution. Ultimately, it always comes down to the social ties, whether they are mediated by digital technology or neighborhood organizations or residential proximity, etc.

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