by Chris Bodenner

Luke Allnet explains why the popular hashtag is pretty much useless at this point, at least for protesters:

As much as the #jan25 Twitter hashtag enables protesters to coordinate, it also gives the police an easier way to monitor protesters as the conversation is focused in one place. Also, it's not clear how anyone could organize anything on popular hashtags like #jan25 with all the retweets, messages of solidarity, and sheer volume of tweets. If activists really wanted to organize through hashtags, they'd probably use ones not popularized by Western media. ...

As in Tunisia, it seems where social media are truly transformative is in getting the story out (no small thing) to the wider world and acting as a surrogate for a state-controlled media either ignoring the story or only touting the government line.

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