Was Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia Caused by SNS?

In the late 2010, there was an intensive civil resistance against Tunisian President at that time.  In Tunisia, that president was running long time and people was dissatisfied with his government.  People started demonstrations complaining that lacking the freedom of speech and other political freedoms.  People finally had succeeded to exile the president.  It is said that many kinds of SNS played important role to spread this revolution. That is why this revolution had been called as “Twitter Revolution” or “Facebook Revolution”.

Was it really SNS that caused this revolution?  Jasmine Revolution could not happen without the power of SNS?

In Jasmine revolution, people shared useful information about demonstrations by SNS quicker than media.  When media does not broadcast what people want to know, now we have the Internet and SNS to broadcast by ourselves.  Not only twitter and facebook, they also used video sharing sites such as youtube, dailymotion and Ustream.  People could really watch what was actually happening without any regulations by government even though they could not attend the activities.  Also, those series of information did attract many other people in other countries.  Actually, after this Jasmine Revolution, similar revolutions happened in Egypt and other Arabic countries.

In Tunisia, 34% of people were the user of Internet, and 16% of Tunisian people were on Facebook.  It seems that there would be a gap between those who have access to the Internet and those who do not (Digital divide).    Actually, the government tried to block the access to the Internet to avoid letting information spread.  But it could not really stop the revolution.  People can also communicate without using Internet.  From here, we can see that SNS was not really a trigger of these series of revolutions.  It has been helping people sharing information but it could not be happening without strong desire of Tunisians.  SNS is just another way of communication.  We should consider it as another media and that means we also have to be careful any information on the SNS.  SNS is useful and it can be an accelerator of Jasmine Revolution and any other social activities happening in the world, but we should always think carefully before completely trusting it and not to spread wrong information.  From now on, the bond between people will be more important than ever.

by Naoko Matsumoto

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