Social Media Uses and their Perceived Outcome Satisfaction in the pre-Egyptian Revolt Context

Nermeen Kassem 1 *

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Abstract

Many commentators (i.e., Aouragh & Alexander, 2011; Tufekci & Wilson, 2012; Wilson & Dunn, 2011; Wall & Zahed, 2011) have remarked upon the role played by social media in the mobilisation that preceded the eruption of the massive demonstrations which took place in Egypt in early 2011, one of a number in the region that became known as the Arab Spring. This article was designed to address the question: “how do young Egyptian activists perceive the potential of social media for mobilising collective action?” The findings outlined in this article make a unique contribution to contemporary debates about social media and the Egyptian mobilisations, since the data was gathered prior to the uprising of 25th January 2011. Consequently, it provides us with a clear understanding of what Egyptian activists actually thought and said about the potential value of social media, both for the organisation and the mobilisation of protests, rather than as retrospective judgments which may be subject to selective interpretations. This article highlights the perception trends of a sample of young Egyptian activists to whom the credit for igniting the two waves of uprisings (25th January 2011 and 30th June 2013) has been widely attributed. Data from questionnaires followed by focus group discussions indicate that young activists use social media as instruments to achieve their goals in order to inform and influence other non-politicised users’ decisions, rather than being directed at achieving individualistic goals. Several limitations were also highlighted; some of which relate to the constituency, while others are mainly related to the media.

Keywords

social media young activists uses and gratifications (U&G) mobilisation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 5, Issue December 2015 - Special Issue, pp. 157-187

Published Online: 01 Dec 2015

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