Gandhi, Dr. King, Mark Zuckerberg?!

April 22, 2011

2011 will be a year remembered across the globe as the year a revolution took place across North Africa and the Middle East. People took to the streets demanding democracy be granted them and to vanquish the dictators that denied it. But how did this all come about? On January the first did all oppressed people of the World have a simultaneous epiphany? Of course not. But a lot of them did check their Facebook pages…

This year a historic uprising of the Egyptian public took place, all thanks to the communicative powers of social media. Never before had an entire population been able to coordinate with such ease and speed a nation-wide demonstration of frustration, until they all signed up for Facebook accounts. That’s right; possibly the most significant political and social event of the century thus far can be attributed to a website. Don’t believe me, then check out how seriously the then Egyptian rulers took it. My point is that without social media this could not have taken place. But this years events are not the only things that would not exist without so called ‘digital activism’. As this blog has discussed before online communication has the potency and potential to cause all sorts of problems, particularly from a PR stand point.

Yes, the Internet provides ample opportunity for brands to promote themselves, but it also puts a huge magnifying glass over all there issues as well. From a practitioners point view the power of the web frightens me. The ability of those using it to spread negative information no matter whether it is accurate or not, is massive.

The events in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya are perfect examples of the rabble-rousing abilities it possesses and although they are not brands, you can see what may happen to even the toughest of dictators, let alone the potential for trouble for businesses.


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