Tunisia’s Twitter revolution

Is the revolt in Tunisia the next Twitter revolution?

The world saw the power of social media on full display Iran with the death of an innocent young woman named Neda.

Although the Iranian government shut down the Internet, the horrific images and video of her death was transmitted across the world via Twitter and YouTube.

It showed the grim scene of Neda or “the voice” in Farsi grasping her last breath after being struck by police bullets.

Besides being deeply saddened  by those images, this moment instantly made me realize the power of social media. These social tools really do bring voices to the people.

Social media is transforming how people connect with each other, mobilize for historical moments and bring about change.

Twitter helps oust Tunisia President Zine el Abidine ben Ali

The latest example of the next so-called Twitter revolution is happening in the north African nation of Tunisia, where thousands of people are demonstrating against their government’s corruption of excess while the people are struggling with hunger, joblessness and despair.

It all started with the bloggers sharing information about the corruption and further heightened when a young unemployed man poured gasoline over himself and light himself on fire on Dec. 17.

He was protesting the harsh economic realities of the nation. He died Friday morning from his injuries.

Despite a government black-out of the Internet, the people of Tunisia are using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to share information about where to protest and where to avoid the military while documenting this tumult by tweets, posts and video for the world to witness.

The protesters have aimed their wrath on President Zine el Abidine ben Ali, who had been in power for more than 23 years. He and his family have reportedly fled Tunisia and landed in Saudi Arabia.

This is the first time in an Arab nation that massive protests have worked to depose of a leader.

Seeing the tweets from Tunisia has been riveting.

My heart and prayers go out to these people a halfway around the world — that I only know from their social media posts … details that are hitting me close to home.

What do you think about what’s happening in Tunisia? How do you think it will end?

I would love to know your thoughts. Can governments curb the people’s will?

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  • One thing I love about your Blog Ted, is that you point out such interesting, global events. “Riveting” is just the word for it. I can only guess how it will turn out. For sure, it won’t have a simple ending, but seeing people become empowered is fascinating and encouraging.

  • Bridget Willard

    I had no idea; thanks for alerting me to this story.

    (Not having my dsl for 3.5 weeks has made me feel like I’m in the dark ages. Thankfully we switched to Cox who installed high speed internet in less than 48 hours from our call.)

  • This is the tip of a much bigger ice berg Ted. Thank you for taking the time to write about this incident on your blog. I can’t imagine how bleak the future must have seemed for the gentleman who set him self on fire, that he saw no better option than to take his own life. It’s heartbreaking. If anything, seeing these tweets stream through the Twittersphere can’t help but make us feel grateful for our nation, the opportunities we have every day, and the freedom –that is so precious, and so fragile.

  • John Lusher

    I agree with Rochelle’s comments Ted; this is only the tip o fa much bigger ice berg. In answer to your question, no governments cannot curb the people’s will; at least not long-term! I believe governments and dictators alike will realize or they are starting to realize that although they may block access to the Internet or platforms such as Twitter, the information WILL still get out and will be made available globally! The United States was founded by citizens that did not want to continue to suffer under the British; the difference is they didn’t have a world-wide forum to denounce what was happening to them. The advances of social media and 24/7 news is having an impact I believe. Thank you for this great post Ted!

  • J Steele

    I agree with the comments above and hope that we all keep learning more and more how to leverage our influence for good in this world, so there is more liberty, more peace, more love, and more hope. God knows we need it. Thanks for doing your part so well Ted!

  • Danielle

    I agree with Gina Ted. You bring stories that make us think, take a stand, and show us the responsibilities that come with social media. We have the ability as never before to become more involved and have active voices in global events before in our ‘back yard’ and across the world. Thank you for the way you do your part.

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