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Social Media Involved in Fall of Tunisian Government

January 15, 2011

By John Rossi :: 8:58 PM

Rioters took to the streets in Tunisia yesterday, protesting unemployment and rising food costs. The situation escalated as news spread quickly across social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter as protesters voiced their resentment in the capital and cities across the country.

Published reports now claim that longtime president Zine Al Abedine Ben Ali has stepped down and fled the country. Ben Ali is now in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, while Tunisia’s prime minister, Mohammed Ghannouchi, has taken control of the country.

BBC’s correspondent Wyre Davies, reporting on the issue, said, “this is a country where the government has had incredibly tight controls on the Internet, on the free press. Things like Twitter, Facebook, all of these other new norms were incredibly powerful.”

Some of the most moving footage of the chaos and protests was “raw footage on shaky mobile phones and then disseminated through the Internet,” according to Davies. “That was an incredibly powerful way for people to get their message across.”

Filed under → Social Media