Texting, Tweeting, Mobile Internet. New Platforms for Democratic Debate in Africa

TitleTexting, Tweeting, Mobile Internet. New Platforms for Democratic Debate in Africa
Publication TypeBook
Subtitle / Series TitleNew issue of the fesmedia Africa series
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsSarrazin, T
Number of Pages51pp
Publisherfesmedia Africa, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
ISBN Number978-99916-864-9-3

"As unrest gathers pace across the African continent, seemingly spreading to countries south of the Sahara, the significance of social media as perceived by African governments is highlighted by measures such as the banning of Twitter’s SMS service by Cameroonian authorities. In order to pre-empt popular uprisings in the run-up to the presidential elections in 2011, Cameroon forced mobile phone operator MTN to end its partnership with Twitter. The micro-blogging website had previously provided a service to Cameroonian users allowing followers to subscribe to automatic SMS updates. This meant that twitterers could reach their followers irrespective of whether those were online or not. As long as their mobile phones were active, followers were able to receive instant SMS updates from the users they followed on Twitter. This technology is said to have played a significant role in the coordination of the Egyptian  protests that led to the ousting of Hosni Mubarak." (from the introduction to the study) About the authorTom Sarrazin holds a Master’s degree in Communication and Media Studies, English Studies and Spanish Studies from the University of Leipzig, Germany. He has studied at universities in Europe, Africa and Asia and has gained hands-on experience during assignments in a number of African countries. His particular areas of interest have included communication and development as well as development co-operation in the context of African and Latin American countries. He also has extensive experience in new media, web publishing and homepage administration. fesmedia Africa is the media project of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Africa based in Windhoek, Namibia. We are working towards a political, legal and regulatory framework for the media which follows international human rights law, the relevant protocols of the African Union (AU) and declarations of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) or other regional standards in Africa.

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