Protest Observation and Mass Self-Communication: Meditations on the Arab Spring
19 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2015
Date Written: February 9, 2015
The Arab Spring has drawn a host of inquiries into the role of the Internet and social media during protest, leading many to question the links between online communication and offline activity. Evidence suggests that much of the information sharing about the protest events happened via online networks. Building on these observations and the literature of citizen journalism, this paper provides a new perspective on Internet communication technologies (ICTs) and protest. It advances the concept of protest observation as a distinct level of collective action involvement. This level of involvement holds particular importance in the digital age because witnessing protest and sharing experiences can have a larger impact than ever before on shaping the meaning and reach of a given demonstrations.
Keywords: Protest, ICT, observers, citizen journalism, differential participation, levels of involvement
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