All Hype or New Reality

When social change occurs is it the result of social media as the sole catalyst that creates the new change? Probably not, as it is only a vehicle for change and factors are many that help facilitate the long battle for social justice. The text explores an incident in which a Emad al-Kabir was being brutally tortured by Balaq Police. The police posted the video to other bus drivers cell phones to instill fear. Instead of fear the video was posted to YouTube and went viral…The Khaled Said movement was more prolific and unfortunately, more complicated. Movements seek martyrs and Said was one that appeared to fit the bill. He was a common youth that shared many of the problems of his peers..”drug abuse, unemployment, and conscription …” It would appear that the need for leaders and not martyrs are more powerful tools for social change. In other words, the qualities of a martyr may fizzle out with regard to political change unless the death sadly occurs following the strife of protest, imprisonment and injustice. In other words being a poster child for the victims list is not a powerful as say the path of someone like Nelson Mandela.  With regard to the hype or reality of  digital media it is purely a powerful vehicle for change although, it takes real leadership to actually achieve change.


3 thoughts on “All Hype or New Reality

  1. It is true that the success of WAAKS and the revolution did not last too long, maybe because it did not have a real leader. But maybe that’s why it worked? With a leader, there will always be people doubting their agenda and because leaders are human – their imperfections will be dug up and attacked.


  2. I agree that leaders are more important and more desperately needed than martyrs but martyrs also have their own place in revolution. Movements can not be sustained and can’t survive off the impact of martyrs alone, but they serve to bring horrors and injustice to the forefront of the public psyche. Once attention has been turned toward what needs to be changed, that’s when leaders must step forth to now command the movements. The failure of anyone to do this with the We are all Khaled Said movement should be a lesson to further movements if nothing else.


  3. Khaled was an icon. While leaders definitely have an advantage over martyrs since they can have more direction command over the movement, the icon is malleable. Because he didn’t have a voice of his own, Khaled could be shaped into whatever figure the movement needed him to be. Because he didn’t have an association with any specific political or socio-economic background, he was essentially a blank slate for the youth of Egypt to rally behind.


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