TED Conversations

Irfan Keshavjee

Founder - Karibu Homes Initiative, Karibu Homes Initiative

TEDCRED 500+

This conversation is closed.

The combination of Wikileaks Facebook & Al Jazeera have created a world where "the power of the people is stronger than the people in power"

Wikileaks alerts the people, Facebook connects them, Journalists cameras protect them, and the morality of the virtual world can spill over to the real world.

In generic terms, Wikileaks alerts an individual to the wrongdoings of a person in power, the individual shares their feelings on Facebook where they unexpectedly find others who feel the same way, sharing the same disappointments, and who desire the same change. Unfortunately they fear the response of an authoritarian regime if they were to hit the street together in demonstration.

But hold on... Al Jazeera's reporters are on the ground, with cameras showing the world what the regimes response is... the people are protected. As one Tahrir Square demonstrator said: "if you take away the cameras, we'll have a genocide". At this point, the universal values shared in the virtual world spill over into the real world and they decide to demonstrate... And then? The regime is held back from using force, if they do, the world will know, and if they try an underground movement, Wikileaks will probably find out too. Rinse, repeat.

These emerging news-makers have more influence than ever before, and need to think deeply as they ‘manufacture consent’ of the masses. As we’ve seen in Egypt & Libya, the implications are revolutionary. The role of the media in this quiet revolution?

Publicize the problems, Protect the people, police the perpetrators.

Share:
  • thumb
    Mar 22 2011: Hi Irfan!
    Please don't be discouraged if you do not get many responses- I read recently that 9/10 Americans are against Wikileaks and Al Jazeera is a news source that strikes mistrust in many American hearts so it might be that some people do not have the objectivity to see the sound reasoning of your premise. The stats are different for people of other nationaliities though and I think that the three stranded rope that you have suggested might just be the major way that the Arab nations and maybe the world are rescued. Heaven knows that the main stream media and governents allowed to operate in the shadows of diplomacy have not served the people well in recent times.Now if that doesn't start some controversy- I don't know what will!
  • thumb
    Mar 23 2011: There is no doubt those three organizations you mentioned (and others like Twitter) had a fundamental role in these recent events, but governments have been overthrown and revolutions have been made all throughout history.