Posted 18 July, 2011 by Susannah Vila

The Arab Spring: Digital Media in the Egyptian Revolution

The Tahrir Data Project gathers empirical data on media use during the Egyptian revolution of January and February 2011. The Project consists of three data sets documenting media use by protesters, by coordinators, and by transnational audiences. Preliminary descriptive analysis of the data, published in the International Journal of Communication, suggests that social media use was not dominant in demonstrations, but may have played an important role in connecting and motivating protesters. Metrics for media use by protesters indicate a strong presence of activities and characteristics commonly associated with communication in protests to social media and social media users. These metrics, along with preliminary data on coordinator strategies and preliminary analysis of the #jan25 tweet set, suggest an important but complex role played by social media in the Egyptian revolution of 2011. The data and preliminary analysis are presented here, together with a number of research questions for further study.

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