Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Why do Facebook and Twitter facilitate revolutions more than TV and radio?

Kiss, Hubert Janos and Rosa-García, Alfonso (2011): Why do Facebook and Twitter facilitate revolutions more than TV and radio?

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Abstract

A distinctive feature of recent revolutions was the key role of social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube). In a simple model we assume that while social media allow to observe all previous decisions, mass media only give aggregate information about the state of a revolt. We show, first, that when individuals' willingness to revolt is publicly known, then both sorts of media foster a successful revolution. However, when willingness to revolt is private information, only social media ensure that a revolt succeeds, with mass media multiple outcomes are possible. This suggests that social media enhance the likelihood that a revolution triumphs more than traditional mass media.

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