Social media, protest and changing the world order – Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky‘s article in Foreign Affairs magazine discussing the political impact of social media focuses on its long term potential for changing public anc civil life as well as for toppling governments.

In the interview above with the Wall Street Journal Clay Shirky, who is Professor of New Media at New York University, Clay Shirky discusses the ‘twin effect’ of of Al Jazeera and social risings in the wave of uprisings in the Middle East, asking how much did the presence of critical media have on people’s understanding of what was going on, while social media tools  allowed protestors to coordinate their actions.

Our 15 February panel discussion: The changing nature of protest: does the mainstream media get it? touched on some of the issues Clay Shirky raises and is worth listening to for insight into the protests in Tunisia and Egypt.

Clay Shirky also touched on the question of how US policy and stability in particular will be affected by democratic movements and the overthrow of autocratic leaders, an issue we will be looking at next week’s event: First Wednesday: people, protest and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa.