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CachedDecoding the Internet in Global Popular Culture$
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Stephanie Ricker Schulte

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814708668

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814708668.001.0001

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Tweeting into the Future

Tweeting into the Future

Affecting Citizens and Networking Revolution

(p.139) 5 Tweeting into the Future

Stephanie Ricker Schulte

NYU Press

This chapter looks at the reemergence of representations of the Internet as democratic and as a vehicle of international freedom in the wake of blogs and social networking. The Internet continued to represent fluid and democratic participation even after commodification. Bloggers drew on individualist and democratic rhetoric suggesting that individuals could fill the vacuum left by skepticism about global and commercialized mass media. Imagined in news media as “unmediated” proxies of the blogger's self, the individual user-rebel and user-worker could blog their way out of both the American virtual nation and corpoNation. The chapter draws from the events of the Arab Spring, specifically the 2011 uprisings in Egypt which was referred to as the “Facebook Revolution.” As news media, policymakers and Egyptian citizens framed the Internet as an authentic, democratic space where nation-building occurred. This event also highlights the messiness that constitutes a virtual nation in the face of a transnational medium.

Keywords:   Internet, democratic participation, international freedom, Internet blogs, social networking, commodification, Arab Spring, Facebook Revolution, nation-building

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