Andy Carvin on Twitter as a newsroom and being human

In a discussion about his use of Twitter as a reporting tool, NPR strategist Andy Carvin made some interesting points about the value of crowdsourced journalism — including the importance of being transparent about the process, and the virtues of being human.

How Twitter helped rescue Mona El Tahawy

Egyptian-born journalist Mona El Tahawy’s use of Twitter to criticize her country’s government may have made her a target for kidnapping and torture, but it also helped her friends assemble a network of supporters and a Twitter campaign that eventually freed her from her captors.

Social media, tipping points and revolutions

As experts have studied the “Arab Spring” revolutions that took place in Tunisia and Egypt, it has become increasingly clear that while social-media tools such as Facebook and Twitter may not have caused these events, they played a crucial role in how they occurred.

Memo to Gladwell: Social media helps activism, and here’s how

Author and social-media critic Malcolm Gladwell has argued that Twitter and Facebook haven’t played any kind of important role in “real world” revolutions like those seen recently in Egypt and Tunisia. But sociologist Zeynep Tufekci makes a strong case for why Gladwell is wrong.

Malcolm Gladwell: Social Media Still Not a Big Deal

After the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, many wondered whether author Malcolm Gladwell would alter his skeptical stance on social media — but he made it clear in a CNN interview that he still doesn’t think tools like Twitter or Facebook make much of a difference.

How Phone-Powered Mesh Networks Could Help in Egypt

With a complete shut-down of Internet access in Egypt, the next drastic step would be the closure of voice communication networks. But researchers in Australia have demonstrated the use of mesh networks on smartphones, which enable voice calls in areas without a working cellular infrastructure.

How Egypt Switched Off the Internet

Egypt’s astonishing decision to shut down communications with the outside world — blocking the Internet for millions of people — might look like a wild reaction by an under-pressure government. But evidence suggests it’s a well-planned and meticulously worked attempt to suppress communication.