A Brief Overview of Social Media in the Sudan Protests
Image Source: REUTERS
Social media platforms have become a defining characteristic of modern popular revolutions as they remain unmatched in catalyzing collective action within populations. The protests which successfully toppled former Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir were not an exception to this phenomenon. With national media monopolized by the State and independent media outlets heavily repressed, protest organizers turned to private platforms as social media remained untouched by the state in recent years despite its growing popularity. These outlets allowed for the development of a counter narrative independent of the state narrative to be displayed on the international sphere. Despite Bashir’s regime instituting a blackout in the early stages of the protests, social media served its purpose as the protests’ catalyst. While the current transitional military government– promising only temporary rule and popular elections echoed the military coup that originally brought Bashir to power– was received with little optimism, its danger became exceedingly clear in recent violent attacks coupled with a total internet blackout. While protest leaders have announced their rejection of the government’s military plans following the crackdown the chance of intervention by international parties becomes exceedingly slim with little news leaving the country.