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The Role of Digital Media

From: Journal of Democracy
Volume 22, Number 3, July 2011
pp. 35-48 | 10.1353/jod.2011.0041



During the "Arab Spring," young tech savvy activists led uprisings in a dozen countries across North Africa and the Middle East. At first, digital media allowed democratization movements to develop new tactics for catching dictators off guard. Eventually, authoritarian governments worked social media into their own counter-insurgency strategies. What have we learned about the role of digital media in modern protest? Digital media helped to turn individualized, localized, and community-specific dissent into structured movements with a collective consciousness about both shared grievances and opportunities for action.