Syria & Sudan Hoping That Greater Social Network Use Will Keep Regimes In Power

from the interesting-reaction dept

With the protests leading to political change in Tunisia and Egypt getting so much attention (including for the role played by social media as a part of that), there have been questions about what country is "next." So it's interesting to see that the governments in both Syria and Sudan appear to think that social media tools may work more in their favor than against them. Wired reports that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, an indicted war criminal, has announced that he wants to extend computer and internet usage among the youth, in the belief that young, connected people will "combat opposition" to the regime, rather than enhance it.

Meanwhile over in Syria, the government has lifted (widely ignored) bans on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter as part of an attempt to create a "new era" in the Middle East.

Whether or not either of these strategies will work for the regimes in charge remains to be seen -- but it's yet another reminder that technology does not inherently favor any particular party, but can be put to use for very different purposes by different groups.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: internet, social networks, sudan, syria


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  1. identicon
    Tim, 11 Feb 2011 @ 4:20am

    It's interesting to see this. I've been reading a book called The Lacuna which talks about Trotsky vs Stalin back in the 1930s and how Stalin manipulated the population to take control of the Soviet Union. My thinking is that this couldn't happen now, but maybe I'm wrong...

    I'd like to think that social media, Twitter and the like, make it harder to pull the wool over people's eyes, but in the end, I guess a state controlled media can still manipulate the stories reaching the masses.

    Interesting to see how this pans out though...

    My original post is here btw....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Richard (profile), 11 Feb 2011 @ 5:20am

    Syria

    The Syrian president is a smart guy. He was educated in the West and knows very well which way the wind is blowing.

    Unfortunately he is maintained in power by a much less enlightened bunch of folks and so he has to be cautious. It may be that he sees the internet as a way to do an end run around the old guard.

    I say this on the basis of information supplied by a friend who has met him personally.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2011 @ 5:54am

    Bread and circuses, anyone?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2011 @ 6:08am

    Anything that opens the internet for a more educated and informed populace is a step in the right direction.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), 11 Feb 2011 @ 6:43am

    The wind is blowing and the stench is horrible at the top...

    It seems that business as usual might not be as easy as it once was in a connected world. Wow!!! politicians might actually need to listen to the population more and the corporations and lobbyist less.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Joe (profile), 11 Feb 2011 @ 8:13am

    Re: The wind is blowing and the stench is horrible at the top...

    Oh, the horror!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), 11 Feb 2011 @ 9:45am

    Assuming your metric of social success for a nation is the satisfaction of the populace, anything that empowers that populace must necessarily benefit the nation - whether it brings down a regime or sustains one, whatever happens is more likely to be a reflection of the will of the people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), 11 Feb 2011 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: The wind is blowing and the stench is horrible at the top...

    LOL ... I had this Image in my head of george bush running around in circles screaming ... ears covered ... yelling I won't listen to the Sheeple over and over ... followed by his head exploding.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2011 @ 5:34am

    The industrial revolution brought about popular struggle. The digital revolution will do exactly the same. You can expect more Egypts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat

Warning: include(/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/pear:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/..') in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8
Recent Stories
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.