Monday, January 31, 2011

Facebook becomes more than just a social network

I was given the opportunity to look through an album of images posted via a friends facebook profile. The images are a collection of photographs featuring women engaging in protest in Cairo.  Gender is important to the people who posted the photos.  Those who comment appear to take slightly different messages from the photos:  'when women protest you know that change is coming', 'go sister' and Leil who posts the photos claims that the women's involvement has been largely ignored by the media.  It is certainly true that the protests have been presented as a disaffected male youth who are struggling to find work in some media.  Her efforts to redress this have featured on an Al Jazeera blog so she has had some success.  Following our reading this week, it occurs to me that there may be some hint of primitivising 'the other' in some of the posts from those with more Western names who assume that women in Cairo play no part in public life or protest and I wonder how accurate that is.

As well as the political importance of this issue, the consideration must be credited that a social networking site can become an important means of communication without an editorial control. Further more as Facebook allows comments to be added, debates and support is shown thus becoming an important social document for future reflection.

A worthy note is that I have no copyright to these image nor know of the photographer to credit. I have however posted a link to the album which has been made public.

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