Social Media in Pakistan
Catalyst for Communication, Not Change
This report argues that social media in Pakistan serves five important functions: 1) it circulates stories ignored by traditional media, or at least bestows greater attention on them; 2) it facilitates group mobilization, primarily by disseminating information about protests and other social campaigns); 3) it helps coordinate and advertise humanitarian initiatives; 4) it serves as a platform for people to advocate social causes; and 5) it stimulates communication between politicians and their constituents. As a counterpoint to these technology-based advantages, the report then goes on to discuss why social media tools in Pakistan cannot presently produce large-scale change. Two reasons, among others, is that traditional media outlets already serve as change agents and co-opt social media’s ability to play this role, and that the latter still has low penetration rates.
© 2012 Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF)