Are new forms of communication inherently revolutionary? Do technologies that enable greater interaction among people necessarily subvert traditional norms and political regimes? When more people can speak, do more rulers fall? For many, writes Thaddeus Russell, the Arab Spring provided the latest and most compelling answer to this line of questioning. Without Facebook, Twitter, and cellphones, we have been told, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and Muammar al-Qaddafi would still be safely ensconced in their palaces, and Bashar al-Assad would not be clinging to power by his fingernails. But what’s really more revolutionary in the Middle East, Russell wonders: Facebook or porn?
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