Deliberate Design or Unintended Consequences: The Argumentative Uses of Facebook During the Arab Spring

Abstract

By looking at the argumentative uses of ‘status updates’, we discuss how Facebook design and context of use influenced opportunities for deliberation during the Egyptian phase of the Arab Spring in early 2011. Our basic point is that, somewhat against the grain of much debate on designing precise tools for supporting online argumentation, many benefits for open and critical argumentation result, in this case, from unintended, indeed parasitic, uses of online technologies. This is evident in the ways that (seemingly) politically trivial, “commercially colonized” and entertainment-oriented technologies such as Facebook or YouTube become major arenas for deliberative mobilization and serious argumentation.

Keywords

online deliberation, Facebook, dialectical trade-offs, argumentation design, argumentation, Arab Spring

How to Cite

Lewiński M. & Mohammed D., (2012) “Deliberate Design or Unintended Consequences: The Argumentative Uses of Facebook During the Arab Spring”, Journal of Public Deliberation 8(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/jdd.133

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Authors

Marcin Lewiński (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
Dima Mohammed (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Peer Review

This article has been peer reviewed.

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