Thursday, March 17, 2011

Who is afraid of the Internet?

Beautiful, beautiful animated video that makes you smile, and then think. It may be a little long, but definitely worth clicking.

A lot of people are saying that the uprising in Tunisia and Egypt was largely successful because of the Internet. Connectivity helps to fan the fervour amongst those protesting and garner support to their cause. An Egyptian man even named his daughter Facebook as a tribute to the social networking site.  

But are we naive in thinking that the Internet is so powerful?

The Internet is value neutral; but like a sword, the wielder can both cut and also BE cut. It can be used as a tool by the activists; but by the same coin, the authorities working to stamp out dissidence can also use it to track, identify and contravene the efforts of the activists.

But  as Evgeny Morozov pointed out, when the Internet is primarily used to download bootleg entertainment material (all right, porn, dammit) and to tell/troll your friends of your "noteworthy" activities, the likelihood of the "democratic change" extolled by the cyber-utopians are about as real as the Farmville corn you harvest.


me the martian said...

it'd be interesting to know how many people actually use the internet for a good cause, tho i tend to suspect...most people care abt farmville than the upraisings in the middle east.

Snuze said...

I have a feeling that you are absolutely right. Anyone who claims otherwise better be brave enough to have his/her browsing history investigated.

I know mine doesn't bear up to scrutiny. :D

me the martian said...

same with me lah. and i like the blog u have here, altmuslimah :P