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Will the Revolution be Tweeted?

By on January 22, 2013

5Apr 2011
In an influential article in The New Yorker, entitled “Small Change: Why the Revolution will not be Tweeted”, Malcolm Gladwell argues that, far from supporting social movements and social change, social media may actually undermine them. Social media creates weak ties and can contribute to “networked authoritarianism” just as much as to progressive social change, Gladwell says.

In response, Clay Shirky, Professor of New Media at NYU, argues that social media can be used as a critical tool for the sharing of information and enhanced social engagement and mobilisation, empowering “loosely coordinated publics to demand change”. He points to the role of social media in recent revolutions from Tunisia, to Egypt, to Libya.

Join our expert panel to debate these views and discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with the use of social media to promote and protect human rights.
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