Powered by WebAds

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Bullets are better than Twitter

Here are some thoughts about the limitations of Twitter ad Facebook-based revolutions.
So far, the brunt of the bloodshed has been suffered by the anti-government protesters, but the violence and brutality cuts both ways. While it is true that they were set upon while trapped in the square, the anti- Mubarak crowds were quick to use violence when the time came, beating and lynching men suspected of being undercover police or paid provocateurs. These men were carried off on several occasions by the mobs, to God-knows-where.

While the protesters were acting largely in self-defense as the square came under siege, and the evidence against some of the men they dragged away was sound, in some cases, the breaking of their bones was audible even over the din of the crowds.

And will any of us in the press ask ourselves what our responsibility is when the inevitable purges begin? Will we ask what role we played in adding fuel to the protest, encouraging those courageous souls to stay in the square no matter the cost that they, not we, will pay? We all had a responsibility to cover the story, one of the biggest in decades, but sober analysis of the stakes at hand seemed few and far between. We talked about how it would affect Israel, America, even Iran, but few seemed to ask what would happen to the Egyptian Army officer paraded on the shoulders of protesters in images sent around the world, or the countless demonstrators who, in their incredible bravery, spoke to the cameras, to the world, and in the end, to the very people who will now be coming to find them.

Will we follow their interrogation and detention on Twitter? Will Facebook find a way to ensure they get proper legal representation? While social networking sites did galvanize the protest movement, as the world saw in Iran’s “Green Revolution,” when the hammer finally does drop, it doesn’t seem to matter if the world is watching, tweeting, blogging or hash-tagging.

As in Teheran, we are seeing in Cairo that while it’s great to have history and the media on your side, it’s better to have bullets.
Indeed, it is.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home