Before the Arab Spring, there was Martin Luther

Feb 15, 2012

One year after the Arab Spring, protestors in Syria are uploading videos and images of the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown of the opposition. The use of new technologies to spread messages and unify resistance against authoritarian regimes is by now familiar. Five centuries before demonstrators tweeted from public squares in the middle-east, an obscure minister and theologian named Martin Luther exploited the social media of his time to challenge entrenched power. We know, at least, how that revolution fared. Tom Standage is digital editor for The Economist. He wrote about the dynamics of social networks during the Arab Spring and the Protestant Reformation in an article for the magazine called "How Luther Went Viral.” 

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