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Social media has been used to influence national politics, the Arab Spring, social media and lessons for future revolutionaries.

The Internet plays a larger role in governance, campaigns and activism, the debate continues about how social and digital media are changing politics. Ongoing research is addressing topics such as whether or not the Internet is leading to increased political polarization — the tendency of like-minded individuals to cluster even closer together in their habits and viewpoints.

Hence the use of social media is becoming a feature of political and civic engagement for many Americans. Some  adults use either social networking sites like Face book or Twitter, and a new survey by the Pew Research Centre’s Internet & American Life Project finds that 66% of those social media users—or 39% of all adults—have done at least one of eight civic or political activities with social media. 66% of social media users have employed the platforms to post their thoughts about civic and political issues, react to others’ postings, press friends to act on issues and vote, follow candidates, ‘like’ and link to others’ content, and belong to groups formed on social networking sites said Winston Churchill.

According to Winston Churchill, “The longer you can look back, the further you can look forward, “explaining the practical application of history to forecasting. That is why those seeking to understand the causes as well as possible implications of the Arab Spring and Egyptian revolution of 2011 can learn much from the previous Egyptian revolution – that of 1919.

However postings on social networking sites reveal surprises for many users when it comes to the political views of their friends. Nearly four in ten users discovered through postings by friends that their political beliefs were different than they thought. A small percentage of users blocked, unfriendly or [hid] someone on the site because their postings were too frequent or they disagreed with them. Three-quarters of social networking site users say their friends post at least some content related to politics on the sites from time to time. They amount to 40% of the entire adult population.”

Postings on social networking sites reveal surprises for many users when it comes to the political views of their friends. Nearly four in ten users discovered through postings by friends that their political beliefs were different than they thought. A small percentage of users blocked, unfriended or [hid] someone on the site because their postings were too frequent or they disagreed with them. Three-quarters of social networking site users say their friends post at least some content related to politics on the sites from time to time. They amount to 40% of the entire adult population.” “Postings on social networking sites reveal surprises for many users when it comes to the political views of their friends. Nearly four in ten users discovered through postings by friends that their political beliefs were different than they thought. A small percentage of users blocked, unfriended or [hid] someone on the site because their postings were too frequent or they disagreed with them. Three-quarters of social networking site users say their friends post at least some content related to politics on the sites from time to time. They amount to 40% of the entire adult population.”

Technology played a key inspirational and mobilising role in both. In 2011 it was rolling TV, especially Al Jazeera, and the internet. In 1919 it was the telegram, distributing widely around the world US President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points speech which inspired claims to national self-determination. The pace of technology may have been slower but the spreading of hope from events outside Egypt was the same.

Moreover, being newer, Facebook got more of the limelight than Al Jazeera, perhaps thankfully so given the politics of Al Jazeera’s enthusiasm for reporting the Arab Spring’s Tunisian origins, a country whose government had a hostile approach to the station. How much was its coverage motivated by impartial journalism or commercial grudges? The answer in this case matters little, save as a reminder that questions of media power and agenda setting apply just as much when being exercised on behalf of the unquestionably virtuous as when in more questionable circumstances, aside from inspiration, would-be protests also need a reassuring answer to the question “if I turn out to protest tomorrow, will I be picked on for repression?” As Clay Shirky has pointed out this can become a chicken and egg trap – if only you turn up, then the changes of being the victim of a crackdown are much higher than if a million turn up, but the one million will only turn up if they know that they won’t be the only one.

Furthermore, successful protests often beat this trap by using a cover which makes initial crackdowns hard or unlikely, gaining breathing space to grow.  In Here Comes Everybody, Shirky gave the example of the East German protestors who ended Communist rule. They initially used the cover of events such as music festivals, forcing on the dictatorship a choice between the high political costs of cracking down on popular, highly attended events or letting a small number of protestors protest. It was a lose-lose choice: either you increase unrest or you give space for it to grow. (The Communists chose the latter, and lost.)

Occupy wall street’s and tea party movements in the USA, stated that  Social media is particularly good at providing the virtual equivalent of space for protest that the music festivals gave, calls it the ‘cute cat theory of censorship’.  It is relatively low cost for a dictatorship to crack down on a small number of dissidents. But there is a much higher cost to restricting popular social networks. So if political dissent and cute cat photos are both featuring on the same technology platforms, it pushes dictators towards that same lose-lose choice, Said Ethan Zuckerman. Of course, protests predate not only social media but the internet itself, so the technology is not itself the full story. There are some cases where social media almost certainly was the determining factor, as in the fall of Philippines President Joseph Estrada in 2001 in the face of mass protests organised via text messaging. But predictions and counter-factual are an uncertain business. Tunisia was not an obvious pick ahead of neighbouring countries before its revolution happened. It is therefore both wiser to stick to broad tendencies, saying that social media makes the successful toppling of dictatorships more likely, even if only rarely on its own.

Moreover, nor is it a certain process, as the cases of Iran, Belarus and (so far at least) Syria tragically demonstrate. Moreover, as Evgeny Mozorov has pointed out, technology can be used not only by dissidents but also by governments. Mozorov has particularly highlighted the case of Russia, a flawed democracy where the state deals with the cute cat problem in the main not by trying to block but instead by trying to flood the online world with astroturfed loyalist content. What matters too is not only how the government uses social media, but how united it is. One crucial difference between Egypt and Syria, for example, has been the respective roles of the military – in the former deciding its future lay in backing change (as they did with Estrada’s ousting too), in the latter in deciding its future lies with the status quo.

In conclusion, The views of the generals matter more than Twitter. So too with foreign governments, where the difference between examples such as Libya and the Ivory Coast compared to Darfur and Rwanda lies in the willingness of foreign governments to support meaningful military intervention. The views of China and its ability to veto UN Security Council resolutions matters more than Flickr. Yet social media can play an important role in helping pose those questions to generals and foreign governments to which they then have to choose their answers. And of course context matters too: what mattered most in the year running up to the Arab Spring was not the growth of social media usage but the one third increase in food prices across the Middle East. That mixed picture is epitomised by the brave, inventive and smart Tunisian activist Astrubal. He made wonderful use of social media to crowd source, document and map the extravagant use of an official government jet to take Tunisia’s First Lady on expensive shopping trips around Europe. Shared photos from plane spotters in many different companies were added to Google Earth to produce an effective and plausible video that turned abstract complaints about indulgent waste at the top into specific evidence. And yet … this was done in 2007. Ben Ali did not fall until 2011. Did the work of Astrubal and others make Ben Ali more vulnerable? Almost certainly. Was it enough on its own? Certainly not.

 

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Summary on three online papers with stories on the economic freedom fighters

Mail and Guardian.

The writer of this story, emphasis that, the president Jacob Zuma displayed some unacceptable behaviour during chaos in parliament, when EFF MPs were escorted out.

The whole intension of this article is to let the public to know how the president behaved as disruption continued in parliament laughing as if he was impressed by Mbete’s decision as if they were missing something.

The writer feeling shows exactly what the president behaved like anybody like when the higher education minister blade Nzimande said we had to them who is in charge if is not the presented who behaved in inappropriate way and also the minister.

Tone, ANC it is breakdown of the constitution and president Zuma is presiding over it. EFF was forcibly removed; the DA decides to walk out in protest against armed security personnel entering the house.

Style, the writer started with what public consider very important, is Zuma behaviour towards EFF MPs who refused to sit down, and the chaos at the states of the nation address very entertaining.

The emotions in this story are that the readers are pushed to be bias according to their political parties EFF and ANC are going to fight toward what had happened in the parliament.

Imagery, the story gives the reader picture that leader sometime they behave like normal human being without title.

Sowetan

The writer of this story emphasis that, Julius Malema prepares for a showdown with president Jocob zuma, when parliament re-opens next month cracks are beginning to emerge with ranks of the EFF.

The whole intension of this article was to embarrass Zuma in parliament by taking about pay back the money and the campaign which is aimed at forcing Zuma to commit to paying back a used  R246 million used by the state for security upgrades.

The writer feelings shows that public are not going to be happy to see news about the money of the nation which was been used. There is a feeling that there are many other issues the EFF should be pursuing than in kandla.

Tone, top parliament officials are having sleepless nights trying to figure out legal methods to over chaos on the day.

Style, the writer said national assembly secretary, national council of provinces they will be relying heavily on previous converts and practices to ensure the smooth delivery of Zuma states of the nation address.

The emotions of this story is that Zuma been advised that the dates for quarterly question and answers sessions for 2015 be announced before the address in the hope of silencing the EFF.

The star

The writer of this story emphasis that president Jacob Zuma believes that the EFF deliberately disrupted the states of the nation to make a political statement.

The whole intension of this article was to deliberately disrupt proceeding for political reason, as all parties will have an opportunity to raise issues during the debate and to ask question on the 11 of March.

The writer has shown the feelings that discussion was taken for matters of national assembly importance of rules of engagement to the parliament.

Tone, the writer is showing that around 25 journalists launched a protest in the press gallery of the nation assembly because they did not have cell phone reception to file their story.

Style, the writer is showing that president Zuma knew about signal jamming ahead of state of the nation address.

The emotion in this story is that the readers are pushed to think about the future of the nation if the parliamentarians are behaving like that.

Heavily Police presence brings overnight calm in Lithabaneng.

Maseru- There was no serious reports of overnight clashes or looting after a very high number of police officers were deployed to Lithabaneng.

The deployment came after police confirmed that looting of foreign-owned shops was also taking place in Ha matala.

Police commissioner Masopha Masopha called on those involved in criminal activity to stop immediately and respect the law.

Four people, including the youth, have been killed and 10 others arrested.

It is alleged that the teen robbed a foreign-owned shop, but was shot and killed by its owner.
The Somali man has since been arrested for the shooting and his case has been postponed.

On the 7 Friday, violent clashes broke out in several parts of Lithabaneng with police firing rubber bullets trying to control the crowd.

Foreign-owned shops have been vandalized and looted by large crowds of people while police struggled to instill law and order.

Masopha says the police will take the necessary strong action to bring the violence to an end.

“We’re quite disturbed by these particular activities and we’re currently observing a number of these activities as and when they happen. We’re calling on our people to observe and respect the law.”
Commissioner of police has condemned the violence, but said all criminals would be dealt with.

At the same time, the commissioner said eight foreigners were found in possession of illegal firearms.

“We have also found ourselves in a situation where we found shop owners using illegal firearms to attack those that are looting.”

She also confirmed that a police officer is now facing a disciplinary hearing after a video showing him participating in the looting went viral.

Police Commissioner Masopha says he wants looting in Lithabaneng to completely stop and has vowed to take action against any police officer involved in the crimes.