#Egypt: Exploring Social Media as Association and Participatory Reporting
The discussion of the role of social media in the Arab Spring is often characterized by two opposing views: one citing social media as a causal link in the myriad protests and revolutions, and the other downplaying social media's influence in these events and instead emphasizing social and political factors. However, for scholars, mass media, citizens, and activists alike, it is more useful now to move beyond this debate, and instead to critically analyze the undeniable role that social media has played in recent protests. Understanding these events requires looking at both social media's affordances and social and political factors. This article analyzes the events of one part of the Arab Spring, the Egyptian Revolution, by framing social media in terms of historical precedent and rhetorical theoretical grounding. In particular, a close look is given to how traditional protest actions—specifically association and participatory reporting—were facilitated by social media during the Egyptian Revolution.