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I Overthrew My Government... Now What?

Social media’s effectiveness in organizing & facilitating grassroots activism was key to removing dictators throughout the Middle East and North Africa, but what is social media’s role in the aftermath of regime change? How is social media being used to support – or disrupt - budding democracies?
Within 30 days of this panel’s acceptance, a social media analysis will be conducted assessing message effectiveness in several distinct countries that have experienced a democratic revolution in the past two years. The media analysis will examine both pre & post regime change digital media efforts to advance, or disrupt, democratic initiatives. In addition, the panel will conduct interviews with opposition leaders & activist parties & conduct a focus group to assess messaging tactics. Leading campaign strategists & democracy advocates will brief attendees on specific market analysis & conclusions drawn. The panel will tackle specific issues/trends in each of the countries analyzed.


  1. What internal and external factors influence the effectiveness of a group’s social media strategy?
  2. What social media messaging strategies are most effective in facilitating civic and democratic engagement in grassroots activism?
  3. How are opposition leaders and democracy advocates using social media in pre and post revolution states to advance their causes?
  4. What are the limitations of digital and social media in establishing and executing democratic and revolutionary initiatives?
  5. How have authoritarian regimes used social media to disrupt democratic efforts and regime change?



Bruce Fryer, Senior Account Manager, Sanitas International

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