A message from Anonymous
Now the Arab Spring protests, sweeping through Africa and the Middle East this year, have inspired the US. As CNN reports, it is the 3rd week of the Wall Street protest expressing people’s anger with the U.S. economy and corporate greed; and the movement has gained momentum nationwide through online social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook.
On a Facebook page “Occupy Wall Street”, there are 87,713 members at the time I am writing this entry. It has attracted hundreds of people who liked and commented on each wall post. It is not the only page on Facebook dealing with this issue.
There was an absence of a ‘leader’. It was just a call on a social network, and “if you're tired of standing by while the rich get richer and the middle class crumbles: Take it to the streets”.
Online social networks make revolution 2.0
Kyle Chayka, in the article Agitprop 2.0: On Occupy Wall Street’s Social Media Revolution on the Artinfo, indicates that the online media has become more than platforms for people to share photos or connect with friends. They provide the infrastructure for people to broadcast their own motivations, critiques, and causes; and this, therefore, benefit the protesters across the world, from Egypt, Libya, Britain to Spain, India, Greece, Israel, and now the US.
|Occupy Wall Street (CNN)|
Governments worldwide might now be aware of the possible outbreak and spread of such protests via social networks. After the UK riots, British Prime Minister, David Cameron, considered a measure to stop people communicating via social media when they are known to be plotting violence, disorder and criminality. This now seems unrealistic.
Another thing should be considered. What will happen if such protests are masterminded by a certain hidden leader? Or when politicians or revolutionaries make use of them for their own political purposes and make them no longer leaderless? No matter how the movements could develop with the engagement of a revolutionary, the impacts or consequences of this agitprop 2.0 would probably be greater than those of the past.