Sunday, December 4, 2016

How Facebook hurt the Syrian revolution

"Erica Chenoweth, a professor at the School of International Studies at the University of Denver, has argued that social media is helping dictators, while giving the masses an illusion of empowerment and political worthiness.
At a recent lecture at Columbia University, when asked for an example where social media played a negative role in a social movement, Chenoweth paused a little to finally say, 'what comes to my mind now is Syria.'
Indeed, social media hurt the Syrian uprising. It gave the Syrian people the hope that the old dictatorship can be toppled just by uploading videos of protests and publishing critical posts. Many were convinced that if social media helped Egyptians get rid of Hosni Mubarak, it would help them overthrow Bashar al-Assad.
It created the false illusion that toppling him would be easy and doable."

I'll have to ponder this a while.  I would assume Syrians would know more about their country than what they read on Facebook and not be swayed by information that contradicts their on-the-ground knowledge.