Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about revolution and Politics on Monday 12th March

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  • An Unusual Arsenal: Tech Tools to Topple a Tyrant

    by Neal Ungerleider, Sonja Gittens-Ottley, Aasil Ahmad, David Gorodyansky and Jamal Dajani

    Instead of guns and knives, the revolutionaries who descended upon Tahrir Square on Feb. 1 packed a potent arsenal of technological tools that ended the corrupt, 30-year reign of President Hosni Mubarak. Their weapons of choice: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube – everyday tools that can be used to plan a party or plot a revolution.

    “We use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world,” wrote one protester in a particularly succinct tweet.

    But with one third of the world living under Internet censorship, the tools we take for granted in America are precious commodities elsewhere. When Mubarak’s government hit the kill switch, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – and those using these tools to rally – were rendered powerless. When the Internet goes black, as it did Jan. 27, how do revolutionaries access these invaluable social channels to communicate, mobilize and ultimately overthrow an unjust government? How do citizens in radio silence tune into the rest of the world – without incurring the wrath of their government? What are the tools behind the tools that every revolutionary should include in his tool kit? And why should you care?

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

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