Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Brief History of New Media and Their Success in Opposing Repressive Governments

1942-1943: The White Rose uses photocopying to tell the truth to Germans about the Nazi government. Fails to dislodge Nazis.

1979: Audio cassettes of Ayatollah Khomeini distributed in Iran. Succeeds in fomenting successful revolution against Shah.

1980s: Samizdat video in the Soviet Union criticizes Soviet government. May have helped pave the way for Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost, and end of Soviet rule.

1989: Email gets word out to the world about Tiananmen Square protests. Fails to dislodge Chinese government.

: Cellphones help mobilize peaceful opposition to President Estrada in Philippines. The Second People Power Revolution succeeds.

: Twitter and YouTube get word out to the world about Iranian opposition to reported election outcome. Result: not yet clear as of this writing.

For more details on the impact new media on the democratic process, see New New Media.
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