The social media’s role in recent unrests, like in the chain of events dubbed the Arab Spring, has been misrepresented in media, argue Jeroen Post and Vincent Crone, both of Utrecht University. The mislead and inflated ideas prevent consturctive discussion over policy, as events like the London riots are depicted as inevitable results of social media’s proliferation.
The authors recognize three themes, through which the misinterpretation of social media is played out. Common to all, they divert the attention from the events’ underlying, individual reasons that extend beyond the introduction of smartphones.
The article is published as an online first article of the journal Digital Journalism and it can be accessed online here (abstract public).