Influence of Social Media on Political Movements

Political movements have been experienced in almost all aspects of day to day activities mainly involving resources. Shirky argues that most movements seek to ensure openness and democracy. In The Political Power of Social Media, Shirky states the essentiality of social media to the life of a society which is rapidly growing globally. People are getting more networked with easier access to information. This seems to be equipping them with their rights improving their fighting grounds (Shirky 1).
Shirky uses an example of Philippine President Joseph Estrada’s impeachment trial on January 17, 2001. His loyalists hid key evidence which didn’t favor him. After almost two hours of his announcement as the president, thousands of angry Filipinos grouped at the main crossroads of Epifanio de Los Santos Avenue in Manila. The protesters were reached through texts which read, “Go 2 EDSA wear blk.” In a few days, over a million people had crowded making it hard for the flow of traffic in downtown Manila. Over seven million texts were sent in a week’s time forcing the country’s legislators to allow the hidden evidence to be presented, the president was forced out. This marked the first case of a national leader to be removed out of power. (Shirky 1)
In Spain 2004, a movement was organized by text messaging to remove the Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar who falsely blamed the Basque separatists for the Madrid transit bombings. In Moldova, Shirky quotes the loss of power by the Communist Party after protests arranged by text, Facebook and Twitter broke out against a fraudulent election which had occurred (Shirky 2). Lately, we have noticed the Arab countries uprising against their governments. Tunisia was the first to undergo the uprising in late 2010 to bring down President Ben Ali had no option but to seek refuge outside the country on January 14, 2011.