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Do mobile phones empower protests to mobilize?
I believe it’s the medium, the means, the facility, if you will that makes it more easily for us to effectively communicate with others thus giving mobility to uprisings.
Sure technology is the center point of it all, but we’re not in the 1600’s where opinions could be easily swayed with, “Oi, look at that guy a talkin'” “Whoa, what a mouth e’s got. What’s he sayin’?” “I dunno, let’s find out.” The scenario will almost never arise nowadays. People will just shut you out, turn you off, or altogether ignore you. We’ve been so normalized by capitalism and the media.
Now, here’s an interesting fact. In South Korea, the number of mobile phone users is extremely high. Most Korean’s by nature are not very confrontational but when they decide on protesting it’s very difficult to quell the mob. One of the last major protests was in 2007 when elementary school students (I have no idea what prompted this, other than there disagreement with the current president) decided to send text messages to each other saying that US beef was poisoned with “mad cow” disease. Dispite US citizens saying otherwise, there was no end to the madness that was about to ensue. http://rokdrop.com/2008/06/28/violent-anti-us-beef-protests-continue-in-seoul/ These massive protests were all started not by word-of-mouth, but by SMS.
Argentina would also have some data for your study (since they protest all the time), but I think it would be too disparate.
Here’s a good site for you on South Korea. http://mikemcstay.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html
I’d like to know if you got figures from Twitter, Google (keywords), and other social networking agencies during the duration of the Iranian election. That was really heated and it’s terrible that more people didn’t fight for that change. However, would it have done good, I mean look at Viktor Yushchenko, that orange revolution never really amounted to a hill of beans.
Finally, excellent work. I signed up because of your article on technocracy/cyberocracy and am not displeased with your work in the slightest. Good job.
Many thanks for your feedback, Elias, I really appreciate it. I don’t have the Twitter, Google, social networking figures for the Iranian elections.
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