Saturday, February 12, 2011

Facebook and Twitter destroy an authoritarian regime

After 18 days, President for 30 years, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt was forced to quit by massive demonstrations of Egyptians fed up with autocratic rule. Mubarak who is a general in Egypt's armed forces is considered as a hero in Egypt's war against Israel. Egypt and Israel have since signed a peace treaty.

The protests occurred in all major Egyptian cities. Mubarak tried to give concessions but eventually this was a little too late. Nonetheless, the regime tried to shut off Egypt from the rest of the cyberuniverse. But that failed, Egyptians found a way to tweet! Shutting off Egypt also resulted in massive economic losses in a nation with high unemployment.

This popular uprising is most significant (even more significant than EDSA in 1986) for it proves that no regime can effectively shut the flow of social networking. Thus dictatorships and unelected rulers in the world and in the Forbidden City are now shell shocked. They know that they cannot hold on for long and give in to democracy.

Tehran and Beijing feel the coldest chill. China cannot throw away all its political power just for blocking tweets and Facebook. And so too will Iran. Communism with Chinese characteristics and the rule of the clerics will have to give way and that will happen very soon. There can never be any effective Great Wall or fatwa against social networking!

And recent developments suggest that doing a Ferdinand Marcos on an unsuspecting Philippines is also now impossible.

No comments: