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EPOL professor's book reveals power struggles during Egypt's 2011 'Facebook revolution'

by Craig Chamberlain / Sep 17, 2014

The 2011 revolution in Egypt, described at the time as a “Facebook revolution,” made Linda Herrera a firm believer in the power of social media. The Associate Professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership was a past resident of Cairo who had studied the online culture of Egyptian youth and followed the events through their Facebook pages. For a moment in time, she was a “complete cyper-optimist,” and her interest led to a book called Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet, published in May.

Herrera, a social anthropologist with regional specialization in the Middle East and North Africa, said her book could have been a political thriller in the hands of a novelist. The complex account contains freedom fighters, infiltrators, video game enthusiasts, and Internet trolls, as well as figures from the U.S. State Department, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian military, and Google.

Of the book Herrera said, “I wanted to raise some ethical questions about the way that the U.S. State Department, Muslim Brotherhood, high-tech companies, and the Egyptian military—all representing big money and power—are operating in this age of new media.”

Read the full article from the Illinois News Bureau.