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Social media’s role in 2011’s Arab Spring and Occupy movements received widespread attention, but according to techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci, social media may in fact impede protests from realizing the positive changes they seek. getAbstract recommends Tufekci’s contrarian, thought-provoking report to protesters, revolutionaries and social media users seeking the best tactics to achieve social and political change.


The power of technology in generating attention for protesters is undeniable. For example, a reporter thwarted the Turkish government’s censorship of the bombing of Kurdish smugglers, which killed 34 people, when he tweeted a picture – that went viral – of the victims’ funeral procession. The government’s efforts to censor the 2013 Gezi Park protests flopped when a citizen posted a picture online that juxtaposed CNN International’s coverage of the protests with CNN Turkey’s simultaneous airing of a penguin documentary. Moreover, the 2011 Occupy movement was born from technology and spawned global protests in 950 cities within mere months ...

About the Speaker

Techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci studies the interaction between social media and traditional power.

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