The Twitter Revolution

Ari posted a link to this article about protestors in Moldova organizing using Twitter and text messages.  There are so many fascinating things about this, but I’ll just note three: 1)  this sounds alot like Jalele’s text message paper, except adding the component of Twitter, 2)  these networking technologies are increasingly making it difficult for authoritarian governments to prevent mass demonstrations (anyone know any research on the specific question of effects of large demonstrations on authoritarian legitimacy?), and 3)  many of the recent democratic transitions in Eastern Europe were catalyzed by fraudulent vote counts, as Moldova allegedly experienced Sunday.

On the other hand, of course, only Belarus experiences more direct Russian influence in their policy, and I’m sure Russia will do everything in their power to prevent this from turning into a democratic transition.  It will be very interesting to watch this unfold.


About Jake Wobig

I teach international relations and comparative politics at Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina
This entry was posted in Collective Action, Comparative Politics, Crowds, International Relations. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Twitter Revolution

  1. Ari Kohen says:

    The difference between what’s going on in this article and the text message phenomenon that Jalele was describing (as I recall) is two-fold: 1. the Twitter organizing was designed to bring people together and the text messages seemed to be either threatening or fear-mongering and 2. Twitter is, essentially, a series of private conversations conducted in public while the text messages were entirely private.

    Should I go ahead and say that if you’re not on Twitter, you’re not a good democrat? Or should I wait to see what happens first?

  2. Jake says:

    I don’t think that would be out of order.

    (Perhaps time to dust off my Twitter account)

  3. Ari Kohen says:

    If you’d dusted off your account, or if Mike had been using his, then one of you would have seen my most recent Tweet about Twitter in the classroom, referencing an article from the Chronicle.

    Here it is:

    Now, what do you (and other grad students, of course!) think about bringing Twitter into the classroom? Is it a distraction? Would it create chaos? Or would you like to see what happens if I try it in POLS 880 in the Fall?

  4. This link was recently posted on Facebook by a certain Twittering professor:

    I urge all to check it out.. and promise that I’ll give Twitter another shot. It certainly helps that the semester is winding down for me.

  5. Mike Wagner says:

    From McSweeney’s…not as funny as it could be, but not bad.

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