Why Movements Are Suddenly Becoming … a Movement

“Advice to the youth of Egypt: Put vinegar or onion under your scarf for tear gas.” That message, posted on Facebook during the height of the Egyptian uprising in early 2011, came from protesters in nearby Tunisia, who had previously toppled their own government and now had some practical tips to share with the rebels in neighboring Egypt.

As the New York Times reported, the Tunisian and Egyptian protesters had been using Facebook and other social media to communicate with one another for months before the Egyptian uprising. Relying on digital connectivity, they created a movement that crossed national boundaries and joined together people who, in many cases, had never met, but who shared ...

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