Where are the social networks when you need them?

I remember the euphoria well in 2009 when Twitter and SMS and Facebook and
Viber “helped bring down governments” in Egypt and Libya and Tunisia and
almost in Iran.

Open networks are forces of democracy, people would say. (Not me.)

We know the sour attitudes these days about the American NSA and Putins
interceptors and the Great Firewall of China. Seems governments know how to
use the internet too. I used to handle the “secret warrant” wiretaps for
Peek (my only meetings with the FBI ever). So I wasn’t quite so surprised
by this.

But here is something that might surprise you: when is the last time you
heard about Facebook and say, Egypt. What is the role of social media in
the Arab post-Spring?

I would say it is exactly nothing. Or rather, nothing different from TV or
print our shouting in the street. Modern tech is not facilitating

It just is. The tech is.

And democracy stands or falls on other bases.

// Amol Sarva, Ph.D. // [email protected] // (530) SARVA-77 //
http://a.sarva.co// @amol

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