There is a lot of talk of the Twitter Revolution. Many people seem to be going on and on about the power of the social networks, and so often it seems unfounded and difficult to believe. But look: it is happening right now…
After 23 years as the country’s leader, President Ben Ali fled Tunisia in the middle of this month as unrest escalated into protests into riots. The people of Tunisia showed the government where the power really lay: in their hands.
And now the same is happening in Egypt. President Mubarak, nearing his 30th year as leader of the country, has had to appoint a vice president, for the first in his leadership, to help him deal with the trouble. Commentators are beginning to wonder if Mr Mubarak will be toppled from the throne he has clutched close to his chest since 1981.
We are seeing something amazing happen in North Africa. And it has all come about through the use of social networks Twitter and Facebook. By organising demonstrations through these websites, people have discovered that they are not alone in their disillusion; in their dissatisfaction with the status quo.
The fear drained away when they saw their numbers. Their hands closed into fists as they saw the fire in their neighbours’ eyes: faces and words on a screen viewed from their living room.
Digital technology and social networking has removed the need for a rally. The government cannot break up a congregation such as this simply with the brute force of the police.
For all the pointless status updates and useless tweets, who would have suspected just how powerful two websites could be?