Saw this quote today:
“Today you are the media, it is your duty to report and keep the hope alive,” – Mir Hossein Mousavi.
and thought it was relevant to the discussion on Twitter.
Also, I was reading a BdM Foreign Affairs article today about efforts of authoritarian regimes to suppress democratic transitions, and he apparently ran a model that showed that authoritarian regimes that suppress 1) political rights (speech, assembly, etc.), 2) human rights (habeas corpus, arbitrary arrest, travel, etc.), 3) FREE PRESS, and 4) higher education, maintain their power significantly longer than regimes that don’t suppress those four key “coordination goods.”
It seems to me that Twitter and related technologies could take the place of the mass press as acting as a coordination good in authoritarian countries. Potentially assembly too, in a civil society sort of way.
This raises an interesting question: in the democratization literature there is a distinct difference in how we treat the press and civil society. Which of these concepts is closer to the function of social networking?