As a bit of a political animal (well, probably somewhat more then a bit), checking state and national political blogs is part of my daily routine. My saved “favorites” include blogs and Facebook sites ranging in philosophy from ultra right wing to profusely bleeding heart liberal. As I tell our public affairs and political clients, “We need to know what’s out there.”
During the last few months, national sites have been ripe with discussion about the primary role social media played in the Tunisian and Egyptian regime changes. While people started these revolutions, it was social media that dramatically helped speed the process along. Facebook and Twitter helped protestors to organize at warp speed. These social media vehicles also circumvented state-controlled media outlets to distribute details of revolution efforts and events to a waiting world.
Some national blog comments regarding what makes social media such a powerful, unpredictable force in global politics include:
- It’s impossible to control or shut down.
- It replaces the need for a charismatic leader.
- Its effects are “politically agnostic.”
According to baptiststandard.com, many historical revolutions seemed to have a new driving force to speed up the process.
“ The Protestant Reformation would have been impossible without the printing press; the American Revolution was advanced by the postal service Benjamin Franklin designed. There is a two-step process by which public opinions are formed.”
What does all this mean for the future of world affairs? Country Facebook user population figures released May 1 are instructive and somewhat surprising. The United States, as expected, is number one with 155 million users. The United Kingdom, with 30 million users is number three. Want to guess who is number two? Ok, I’ll spill the beans…it’s Indonesia with 36 million Facebook users. In fact, Turkey, India, Mexico and the Philippines rank 4th through 7th, respectively. France was number 8 and Germany number 10.
The western countries, in general, are being “out-Facebooked”. Social media outlets are now recognized as the new tool of the people.
Wayne Kranzler is the CEO of KK BOLD. 28% of his Facebook Friends are from Tunisia.