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1) It is no doubt that the benefit of any material or non-material

instrument depends on how you use it for what kind of
purpose. To give a classic example, a knife might be a very helpful
instrument in a kitchen in the hand of a cook and a very dangerous
instrument in the hand of an aggressive delinquent. It is of course
appreciated that the Internet is used for several useful activities,
varying from conducting academic research to buying a train ticket
without waiting in a queue. Similarly, social media can be used for
arranging dates and places for face-to-face meetings by a real
network of friends. Or, it might be a good instrument for
communication between friends who have to live in different cities
or countries as a result of globalization. These are all good,
understandable and useful aspects of the Internet and social media.
2) Thewayssocialmediaarechangingcommunicationhavereceivedalot
of mediaattentioninthepastfewyears.Notably,the2008
attacksin
Mumbai,the 2009
Iranelectionprotests,andthe2010Haitiearthquake
weresituationsinwhichsocialmediaplayedasignificantrolein
communication.Socialmediatoolsaresaidtogivepeopletheabilityto
connectanduniteinacrisis,raiseawarenessofanissueworldwide,and
usurpauthoritariangovernments.Thesetoolscanbeusedtoquicklyget
information,suchasthelocationofahospital,topeopleindanger.The
increasedawarenessbroughtonbysocialmediacanhelpraisea
significantamountofmoneyforacause.Forthefirsttime,everyonecanbe
ajournalist.
example : Manybelievethatthesenewwaysofcommunicatingcanhelp
tocreatesocial change.TwittercofounderBizStonewentsofarastosay
thatsocialmedialowersthebarrierforactivism(Mainwaring,2011),
Othersinsistthattheeffectsofsocialmediaareminimal;
socialchange
comesaboutthewayitalwayshas,frompeopleontheground.Most
famously,MalcolmGladwellclaimedinhis2010New
Yorkerarticlethat
onlinesocialnetworkscreateonlyweakties,notthestrongtiesthatare
neededforactualaction.Hearguesthatthereisnothingspecialabout
usingsocialmediatocommunicateforsocialchange,thatwearegivingtoo
muchcredittothetoolsbehindthecommunication:“Whereactivistswere
oncedefinedbytheircauses,theyarenowdefinedbytheirtools”
(Gladwell,2010).Others,likeClayShirky,believethatthesechangein
communicationhashadahugeeffectonthewaypeoplecreatechange:
“Groupactiongiveshumansocietyitsparticular character,andanything
thatchangesthewaygroupsgetthingsdonewillaffect societyasawhole”
(Shirky,2009
,p.23).Thereisnoquestionaboutwhetherpeopleareusing
socialmediatocommunicate.
3) Introduction: Social
Media
BACKGROUND

“SocialMedia”are“agroupofInternet‐basedapplicationsthatbuildon
the ideologicalandtechnologicalfoundationsofWeb2.0,whichallowsthe

Anyone cansignupforFacebookandinteractwiththepeopletheyknowin atrusted environment.thedigitalmappingofpeople'sreal‐worldsocialconnections. 2010.Iran“byoneestimate”hasmorebloggerspercapitathan anyothercountryintheworld.AsofJune2010. Protestersused .Hourbyhour.familyandcoworkers.firsthandaccountsbeganshowing upon Twitter.“AnyIranianwithamobilephonecouldfilm theprotestsandtheresponseofthesecurityforces.2008
). 4) socialmediauseinacrisissituation are helpfultothoseonthe groundandthoseseekinginformationaboutthe crisis 2008
AttacksinMumbai TheattacksinMumbai.”2010).000 tweetsper dayandover8
.22%
oftimespentonline(oroneineveryfour andahalfminutes)isspentusingsocialmediaandblogsitesworldwide (“SocialNetworks/BlogsNowAccountforOneinEveryFourandaHalf MinutesOnline.thecity’s largesttrainstation.asearchfor"Iran"onTwittergeneratedover100.Thecompanydevelops technologiesthatfacilitatethesharingofinformationthroughthesocial graph.com: Facebookisasocialutilitythathelpspeoplecommunicatemoreefficiently withtheirfriends.2008
).IndiaoccurredonNovember26.amovietheater.creationandexchangeofusergeneratedcontent”(Kaplan&
Haenlein.andahospitalwere attackedwithmachine‐gunsand grenades(Sengupta. 2009
).Theprotestswerequicklynicknamed“TheTwitter Revolution. Immediatelyaftertheattacksbegan.p.Theglobalaveragetimespentperpersononsocial mediasitesisnownearlyfiveandahalfhourspermonth.Flickr.” At itspeak.andTumblr.Twitter. Facebook FacebookisasocialnetworkservicelaunchedinFebruary2004. 2009 Iran Revol
ution socialmediawasusedtobroadcasttheprotestsandviolencesurrounding themtotheworld. YouTube. 2011).Facebookisapartofmillionsofpeople’slivesand halfofthe usersreturndaily(retrieved2/26/2011).000tweetsperhour(Boguta. Popularsocial mediaincludeFacebook.these clipsfoundtheirwayontoYouTubeandcountlessbloggingsites”(Blair. 2008
).60).2009
).Peoplenearthesiteofthe attacks sharedlocationswherebloodwasneededandgavereportsonthe healthoftheir familyandfriendsandtheactivityofboththepoliceandthe terrorists(Leggio.Pakistani gunmantargetingAmericanandBritishcitizensforuseashostageskilled atleast101peopleandwounded200inthetouristareasintheIndian financialcenterofMumbai(Magnier&
Sharma.andothersocialmediasites.Asof January2011ithasmorethan600millionactiveusers(NicholasCarison.Twohotels.2008
. AccordingtoMashable.a Jewishcenter.Flickr.

2011.Twitterandothersocialmediatowarneachotherofdangers and communicatebasicinformation.Theyuseditto helpeachother. Example: Studieshaveshownthatpeoplewhoareactiveonlinearelikely tobeactivein groupactivities.Socialmediausers areevenmorelikelytobeactive:8
2%
ofsocial networkusersand8
5%
ofTwitterusersaregroupparticipants(Rainie.comparedwith56%
ofnon‐Internet users.theyaremorelikelytoengagein agroup. Purcell.&
Smith.ThePewResearchCenterfoundthat8
0%
of Internetusers participateingroups.Additionally. [Iranians]
used[Twitter]
totelleach otherwhereNOTtogo.ifusersfeelthattheycanactually makeadifference.p.2). .