Mobile Internet

Two times when Social Media toppled empires for good and bad

Social Media apps on phone

Social media has conquered the world and this is not even an exaggeration. This article is going to focus on how social media can really take down an empire within a matter of hours. The power of people when they come together is unbeatable and social media brings people together. That is the reason social media has the power to topple empires not within years, not in days but in hours. This thing is proven and there are some examples that will be given today.

The first example will be of the Middle Eastern countries where more than three governments collapsed within a span of two years. There was an incident when a man set himself on fire and this was put on social media, the reason for his suicide was the quality of the life he lived. This was in Tunisia, the post went viral and people gathered, a revolution was taking place on social media, all platforms and the government could not see it through. The entire government toppled within months.

This revolution caught fire and spread across the entire Middle Eastern region. There were many other governments that were toppled. This even went to Egypt when the Egyptian government had to succumb to this. This was on a level of countries going into the state of civil war. Everything started with just one post. This revolution was known as the Arab Spring.

Apart from this, there is another incident which took place in April of 2016. Chase Bank Kenya, (CBK) was functioning normally and it was a regular day at work. WhatsApp in Kenya, however, was flooding with messages which were talking about Chase Bank privy to frauds worth billions of dollars. These messages were forwarded by many and then Mumbi Seraki, a well-known personality in Kenya tweeted about the same. She tweeted saying that CBK has around $15 billion missing from the books.

Her tweet read, “After Imperial, CBK focused ON forensic audits and found a similar ALLEGED FRAUD at Chase Bank where close to 15b is missing from the books.” The locals at first raised questions over her tweet and asked for proof. However, despite there not being any proof, there were reports that many of its users had withdrawn all the money from the bank hours before the messages were forwarded on WhatsApp. This happened on April 3rd, 2016.

This sent the bank in receivership and there was inquiry opened on April 5th just 24 hours into the messages. The Central Bank entered the scene and took over the inquiry. All the accounts were frozen and there was nothing the CBK could do. The entire scene happened within days and the Twitter account of CBK was running, as usual, asking people to not panic. The official statement denied all the accusations and yet, the bank came down to its knees. All of this because of a WhatsApp message being forwarded around.

The power of social media is immense. It can topple a bank, a government and if the time comes, humanity as well.

-Unmesh Phule

Comment here