American U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice visited Twitter Headquarters in San Francisco and during a town hall meeting she praised the social networking website for helping bring about change in Egypt through the use of social media encouragement.
While some opponents of social media have been quick to downplay the importance of social network outreach, Rice said of Twitter and other social networks that “Governments are increasingly cognizant of their power” and that sites, specifically Twitter and Facebook have an “enormous impact” on the world stage.
When speaking about the impact Twitter and Facebook had in protest organization in Egypt Rice added:
“The power of this technology, the power of social networking to channel and champion public sentiment, has been more evident in the past few weeks than ever before.”
While it is true that organized protests existed long before social media, the ease at which people can now come together was evident in Egypt, not only were large groups of people taking to the streets, but smaller protests could be seen and heard all over the city, while “smarter” organization allowed for a better plan of attack against the countries corrupt government, allowing protesters to understand their roles in those public displays before heading out with thousands of others to partake in their countries revolution.
With the U.N. acknowledging the role social media is taking all over the world and with only 25 percent of Facebook’s 600 million users located in the United States, it’s easy to see why Egypt tried to turn off the internet when they did, there were simply too many connected voices organizing their thoughts among their groups too easily.
Here’s the full Twitter Town Hall meeting with American U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice:
What do you think about the importance of social media in worldwide events such as the recent riots in Egypt?