Will social media revolutionize China and North Korea?

Posted by Ryan Austin

Have the rifles and grenades of previous revolutions been replaced by Twitter accounts and Facebook profiles?

Will Twitter revolutions occur in other regions of the world like they have in the Middle East? Image by Baranskyi Vyacheslav.

Yahoo! News reported that the Libyan government has been sporadically blocking the internet and individual web sites like Facebook and Twitter, fearing more organized protests against the government. Time recently profiled a 20-year-old university student who, along with millions of others, used Facebook and other social media sites to speak out against Hosni Mubarak, bringing the dictator’s reign to an end.

If social media websites like Twitter and Facebook can help spark revolution in much of the Middle East, can those sites also incite political change in countries like North Korea and China?

Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter have the capacity to help change oppressed countries in other regions of the world besides the Middle East. The problem will be making sure that the citizens of those countries have access to the internet and are not blocked from social media sites. China already blocks most social websites from use by its citizens. North Korea has a Facebook account, but uses it to further its propaganda campaign.

The North Korean government has a Facebook profile which it uses to further propaganda. Image by Flickr username pshab.

If radical political change is to occur in these areas, internet access will somehow have to become free from government intervention. If completely free internet access is realized in China and North Korea, I see Facebook and Twitter becoming instruments of revolution in these countries.

Do you think social media will help to revolutionize China and North Korea like it has the Middle East?


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