factor which draws its own consequences.
Yet this diminishes the political and social elementsat work and overlooks the most fundamental element of the “Arab Spring”. The changes inTunisia and Egypt were not driven by technology. These were revolutions driven by the people.It is important, therefore, not to overstate the role of social media in the changes that have beenachieved, the protests that continue. While Zakaria acknowledges “technology – satellitetelevision, computers, mobile phones and the internet – has played a powerful role in informing,educating and connecting people in the region. Such advances empower individuals anddisempower the state”,
Haseeb believes the technology has gone one step further thanempowering by “initiating and igniting these events” (p. 117).
The development of new mediacultures meant that what had once been done face-to-face has been effectively appropriated andaligned to assist contemporary revolutionary movements, yet the driving force remained anaccumulation gathered over several years of disenfranchisement, of impotence to confront andchallenge the ruling elites who were considered venal and corrupt.
First e-revolution – in the Philippines
Modern media tools have been used in the past to provoke regime change. The first e-revolutionwas 20 years ago. Accused of corruption, President Joseph Estrada of the Philippines refused tostep down. In a country where text messaging was hugely popular, people took to their phones to begin the fight. Texters urged supporters to “Wear black to mourn the death of democracy” andcalled for one million people to meet outside the presidency and protest. They did, in anoverwhelming and peaceful show of dissent.In echoes of what was to come in 2011, the President appeared on TV first to announce he wouldnot resign, and then to call fresh elections in which he would not stand. The military and the police sided with the people and withdrew their support. Four days after the first texts were sent,