Social Network Revolutions

The video above is about the social media revolution in general. It describe how the social media impact today society.

Statistic URL: http://marketingland.com/report-twitter-still-sees-booming-growth-while-facebook-slows-7292

Facebook and Twitter users are still increasing year by year and they are predicted to continue growth until 2014. Social media changed the way we live. It becoming a need in our life, it’s no longer a want. We need social media to spend our free time, we need social media to update ourselves, we need social media to keep in touch with our friends and family and so on. In my previous post, I’ve mentioned on how social media actually change our life and what is the impact of it. Besides our personal usage,  Morozov (2011) argues that these digital tools are simply, well, tools, and social change continues to involve many painstaking, longer-term efforts to engage with political institutions and reform movements. Social media did bring a big impact to the political aspect as well. Everything gone viral in the social media, we can share anything immediately. Morozov (2011) mentioned that internet can be an effective tool for political change when used by grassroots organisations.

The article of Evgeny Morozov talks about Cyber-utopians who believe the Arab spring has been driven by social networks ignore the real-world activism underpinning them. According to New Internationalist (2012), western countries have generally supported the ‘spread of democracy in the region’ and a lot of attention has been given to the positive influence of technology in promoting the successful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. The rapid internet interaction through Twitter and Facebook actually gave many information to the protesters. As in Malaysia itself, Bersih 2.0 can be a very good example. People are crazily sharing this everywhere and many of my friends took part in this as well. They used Facebook and Twitter to know other protesters from everywhere. They share any information using social network as well. Srinivasan (2012) discussed some argue that social media empowered activists to coordinate and communicate the actions that sparked the revolt while in contrast, some argue that social media was a double-edged sword, and in some cases prevented activists from directly confronting the old regime.

Morozov, E 2011, Facebook and Twitter are just places revolutionaries go, accessed 27/10/2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/07/facebook-twitter-revolutionaries-cyber-utopians

New Internationalist 2012, World Developement book case study: the role of social networking in the Arab Spring, accessed 27/10/2012, http://www.newint.org/books/reference/world-development/case-studies/social-networking-in-the-arab-spring/

Srinivasan, R 2012, Taking power through technology in the Arab Spring, accessed 27/10/2012, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/09/2012919115344299848.html

Wikileaks

Image URL: http://bit.ly/VXscV0

WikiLeaks was officially launched in 2007. It is a not-for-profit media organisation and their goal is to bring important news and information to the public (Wikileaks 2012). WikiLeaks (2012) also mentioned that they has sustained and triumphed against legal and political attacks designed to silence their publishing organisation, journalists and anonymous sources. It further explained that they has combined high-end security technologies with journalism and ethical principles and they accept anonymous sources of information. Wikileaks aim to create a better society for all people.

According to Benkler (2011), Wikileaks became the center of an international storm surrounding the role of the individual in the networked public sphere after its first document released. Wikileaks’s importance is showing that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, this is why the accept anonymous sources. However, Wikileaks will investigate all the anonymous sources before they publish. The emerging of wikileaks may well impose serious collateral damage on some citizen journalists (Benkler 2011).

THE PROVOCATION: WIKILEAKS EMERGES AS A NEW ELEMENT OF THE FOURTH ESTATE

A. 2006-2009: Award-winning site exposing corruption and abuse around the world

Wikileaks is the winner of  Economist Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression award (2008) and Amnesty International human rights reporting award (New Media) (2009). Wikileaks was an organization that seems to have functioned very much as it described itself: a place where documents that shed light on powerful governments or corporations anywhere in the world, or, in the case of the climate scientists’ emails, on a matter of enormous global public concern, could be aired publicly. The pattern of Wikileaks releasing information relating to a range of very different countries (Benkler 2011).

B. March 2010: Leaking the 2008 Pentagon Report on the threat of Wikileaks

Wikileaks released a 2008 Pentagon report arguing that Wikileaks is a threat, while recognizing the site as a source of investigative journalism critical of U.S. military procurement and its conduct in war. The Pentagon report provides significant insight into what Wikileaks was doing by 2008, and why the military was concerned about it. The 2008 Pentagon Report, then, sees Wikileaks as a journalistic organization whose structure and organization make it dangerous to the U.S. military. Wikileaks.org uses trust as a center of gravity by assuring insiders, leakers, and whistleblowers who pass information to Wikileaks.org personnel or who post information to the Web site that they will remain anonymous (Benkler 2011).

C. April-October 2010:Collateral Murder, Afghanistan, and Iraq

April 2010 marked the beginning of a series of four releases of documents embarrassing to the United States government. In July 2010, Wikileaks released a new cache of documents; these were war logs from the field in Afghanistan. In October, Wikileaks added one more major release. It consisted of war logs similar to those released in July, this time pertaining to the Iraq war. Benkler (2011) mentioned that Wikileaks posted close to 400,000 field reports from Iraq in what the BBC described as “a heavily censored form.” BBC news (2010) stated that the site released almost 400,000 secret US military logs detailing its operations in Iraq in October.

D. The Last Straw: The Embassy Cables

Another document was released on November 28 and it was more careful and selective than any of the prior releases. The release of the final batch was followed by a massive escalation of attacks on Wikileaks as an organization and website, and on Assange as an individual. It is the mismatch between what Wikileaks in fact did in this final round and the multi-system attack on it that drives the need for a deeper explanation.

Image URL: http://bit.ly/Vyxu3i

References:

BBC news 2010, What is Wikileaks?, accessed 27/10/2012, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10757263

Benkler, Y 2011, A free irresponsible press: Wikileaks and the battle over the soul of the networked fourth estate, accessed 27/10/2012, http://www.benkler.org/Benkler_Wikileaks_current.pdf

Wikileaks 2012, About, accessed 27/10/2012, http://wikileaks.org/About.html

Twitter

Image URL: http://mashable.com/2012/09/22/twitter-ads-small-business/

Are you a twitterer? Do you own a twitter account? How often do you tweet? Does twitter change the way you live? Johnson (2009) mentioned that the most fascinating thing about Twitter is not what it’s doing to us but what we’re doing to it. Consumer today are no longer consumer anymore, they become prosumer. So what is prosumer? It’s a combination of producer & consumer. It conceptualize users of the day use their media. For instance twitter, you contribute content by tweeting what’s going on with you as a producer and you take information from the twitter as consumer. So there you are, prosumer.

Twitter Usage Statistics 2012 Infographic

Image URL: http://ansonalex.com/infographics/twitter-usage-statistics-2012-infographic/

The image above shows a study in 2010, it is possible to be addicted to social media as 23% of college students have addiction to it. 21% of them actually have physical and mental distress without exposing to any social media within 24 hours.  Undeniable, social media is a very important thing in our life, especially teenagers. Research also shows that Twitter may be harder resist than cigarettes, alcohol, sex, caffeine and sleep. How about you? Are you a heavy user of twitter?

This is a video talks about what people do with twitter.

Chart URL: http://dstevenwhite.com/2011/12/29/social-media-growth-2006-2011/

Globally, the total number of people using twitter increase rapidly and it achieve 300,000,000 users in 2011. Peoples use twitter for different purposes, as we could see from the video above. Below are some of my example on how people use twitter.

1. Social communication – Most of the people use Twitter as their own interest. They tweet anything related to them and when their followers see the tweet, reply it and there goes the social communication. We use twitter as a platform to basically tell people what we are doing, what we are thinking and so on. Besides, there are twitter photo-sharing services, such as TwitPic and YFrog, allow us to post photos to share with our friends through Twitter.

2. Networking –  Twitter’s system of shortened links and hashtags make it easy to find people or businesses posting tweets in the same areas that you are. When we posted anything, we can add a hastag “#” to line it to the specific topic or others, this enable people to search easily and you may find people that having the same interest with you as well. Besides you may tag any of your followers with using a “@” in twitter, it’s called as mention. Like when you are having lunch with your friend, you might update your twitter – Having lunch with @abc now. Besides, peoples like to follow things they are interest with. For example, you are a football lover supporting Manchester United and u may follow them in twitter to know the latest updates.

3. Education purpose – Like the subject we are taking now, DIGC202 require us to create an twitter account to tweet about our assignment topic weekly. We are asked to add in the hashtag with #DIGC202 as well. So when we click in the hashtag, we could see what students from Australia main campus tweet about and same goes to they can see what we tweet about. This makes the assessment more interesting as well.

4. Business purpose – Many companies have their own twitter account and they do update frequently.They use their Twitter profiles to increase traffic and find new visitors for their websites. According to Southern (2012), many businesses specifically offer special deals and promotions exclusively through Twitter. Twitter’s “retweet” function allows other Twitter users to re-post your tweet if they find it interesting; being retweeted by several popular Twitter users can significantly increase exposure for you tweet and your business. Below are the examples of companies using twitter for their business (Smarty 2008).

This video is telling people Twitter is faster than earthquake. You can know what’s happening around immediately through twitter.

References

Johnson S 2009, How twitter will change the way we live, accessed 6/10/2012, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1902818-4,00.html

Smarty A 2008, 16 examples of huge brands using twitter for business, accessed 6/10/2012, http://www.searchenginejournal.com/16-examples-of-huge-brands-using-twitter-for-business/7792/

Southern S 2012, The purpose of twitter, accessed 6/10/2012, http://techtips.salon.com/purpose-twitter-1039.html

Steve 2011, Social media growth 2006-2011, accessed 6/10/2012, http://dstevenwhite.com/2011/12/29/social-media-growth-2006-2011/