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YouTube, Facebook Emerging as Reform Tools in Yerevan

Well, the statistics show that the Internet is more affordable and more accessible to Armenians than ever before. Internet World Stats claims that Armenia’s number of Internet users has increased by 700 percent since 2009! Now, the country holds the highest Internet access rate in the South Caucasus. But what does this mean?

Because of this growing accessibility, more Armenians are using social media to engage and mobilize action about topics like abuse in schools and the military – two recent YouTube videos sparked an outcry and subsequent action. So, does this mean the Internet is the most powerful vehicle for expanding free speech and sparking social change? Perhaps. Some say otherwise, of course. Either way, a pretty interesting piece to check out.

EurasiaNet -- An estimated 700-percent increase in the number of Armenian Internet users since 2009 is changing the way Armenians lobby for social change and protest perceived abuses of power, some media observers say. Others contend, however, that the YouTube and Facebook revolution remains in its infancy, with state-controlled television still dominating the public discourse.

The effects of Armenia’s Internet usage explosion have already been seen this year: several cell-phone videos posted on YouTube prompted unprecedented investigations into physical abuse of soldiers within the army and of teachers’ use of violence against students in public schools.


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