Speaking at Dublin City University in February 2014, my presentation was titled: "Uprising: What happens next?"
I addressed the political chaos in Egypt where reports of the influence of Social Media and the impact of the Internet have been strong. In my view Social Media has been generating hyper-fragmentation among interest groups in society, giving rise to "ideological grooming" which continues apace.
Researchers are notoriously brave or reckless in theorizing technological determinism in the quest for democracy. Count me in that lot.
Now there is evidence of real impacts as opposed to marketing claims from techo-boosters parading as researchers - I know the terrain is complex, but the point is worth making less researchers become corporate shills. (definition of shill: a person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reasons of self-interest, personal profit, or friendship or loyalty).
Turkey Prime Minister quote:
"We are determined on this subject. We will not leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook," Erdoğan said in an interview late on Thursday with the Turkish broadcaster ATV. "We will take the necessary steps in the strongest way."
Read the report here. Stopping social media in Turkey
Then this from SXSW -
"Eric Schmidt to dictators: 'You don’t turn off the internet: you infiltrate it'."