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Online Videos and Public Discourse Rights Dissertation

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Updated: Jun 17th, 2021


Online video has played a significant role in the discourse and rights of the public. Typically, that has been due to the flow of information on the internet as a platform for social media including YouTube and Twitter, among other platforms. The rationale behind online video providing people with the ability to express their desire to exercise their civil rights revolves around the flexibility in the usage of ICT technologies, and the ability to bring information, which is the strongest tool that people can be equipped with the seek for their rights.

In addition to that, social media provides the baseline for educating people on their civil rights, thus enabling them acquire the necessary capacity to explore their opportunities and the potential to demand, irrespective of the political and social environment prevailing at the time, their civil rights. On the other hand, information is a strong transformative force that leads people to demand for their rights using online video on online social media.

However, governments sometimes experience challenges, especially governments with strong controls on the freedom of expression and other fundamental human rights. Case studies abound on the transformative effects of online video on social media. These include the Iranian protests after the polls, the UK protests, and Thai protests, referred as digital politics.


Social media has significantly affected different spheres of social, political, and educational lives. Of significant impact is online video on the discourse rights of the public.It is therefore important to note that people can only express the desire to exercise their rights when exposed to information about their rights. Information can however reach people from different platforms based on the kind of platform available.

In addition to that, information flow restrictions and the ease with which people access the information and in particular, the specified platform has significant effect on who receives the information, how and what impact that information could have on individuals. Research has shown that social media plays a significant role in shaping the thinking of people particularly in creating behavioral and attitudinal changes toward their regard for their fundamental human rights (Starkey, 2002).

Thus, social media plays the role of a powerful tool in educating people on their fundamental rights. That is typically because subjecting people to education on their rights develops in them attitudes that contribute significantly to social transformations by enabling them view their growth as a problem to solve (Freire, 2006). Thus, with the use of social media, it is possible to subject people to the transformative effects of education, particularly knowledge on their civil rights.

At this point Freire (2006) radically views education as a tool against tyranny. However, education based on imparting knowledge on different individuals has different platforms, one being social media. Thus, social media is the critical platform in this context. Social media plays the critical role of conveying information and knowledge to the people facilitating their growth in knowledge. It has been studied and realized that education is the critical component that equips people with the ability to understand their rights, develop their potential, cultivate the opportunities for the people to develop their ability to pursue their rights whatever the prevailing circumstances (Freire, 2006).

That is despite the differences in individual development capacities. Arguments abound that point to education as a lifelong process imparted on individuals due to their exposure to the mediums through which information reaches them. These examples include the internet and social media sites accessible from anywhere on the globe. In addition to that, the flexibility with which people access information directly relates to the explosion and use of social media.

However, one critical disadvantage associated with education is the formal approach used to impart it on people. The confinement of education to formal schools in a structured and formal framework is one of the examples. The formal framework, therefore, fails to factor other societal factors that influence different people from getting access to ever-changing trends in society especially in technology and its use and more particularly the internet. Thus, the internet, and especially social media plays a critical role in bridging the gap between formal and non-formal approach of imparting education, as argued in the latter statement.

Thus, the conclusion that education is a critical tool in the democratization process and especially in imparting knowledge on the people to seek for their fundamental human rights is evidently clear. It is through the internet, using information communications technologies, and especially social media that people have taken it upon themselves to question authorities for the legitimacy of their actions and decisions, besides seeking for their rights. That is evident on the usage of social media and online video (Habermas, 1989).

Typically, the internet is one of the strongest platforms for social media, with typical examples including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and many others. It is however, important to note that interactions with social media require some simple skills on the use of devices such as the mobile phone and the computer (Sohmen, 2001). However, many of the young generations who largely remain obsessed with social media are well conversant with the usage of social media, the platforms, and the devices such as computers that enable such in interactions (Suarez, 2006).

The interactions and technologically perceptive young generation contributed to the use of online video and social media in bringing about information and knowledge to the masses who participated in pursuit of their fundamental human rights and the right to the freedom of expression as was evident in the Iranian, British, and Thailand protests (Hamilton, 2008).

One of the profound impacts realized from the use of social media included the Iranian lections and the protests after the elections. People could communicate and share information on the social media platform, which came at a time when politicians and the public had realized the power of information and its impact when information is distributed on the internet (Snellen, 2001). However, with the discovery of the internet as a powerful platform to disseminate information, Iran, with a population of over seventy million people, experienced the role social media could play in influencing people to seek for their rights.

One element that characterized the internet and its usage during the elections was a tight grip the government had in controlling the use of the internet by the public. However, with a growing population becoming aware and well informed on the usage of technology, people were able to circumvent the tight controls imposed by the government on the internet, and continue to use social media such as Twitter to share interactively information on the polls. In the light of opinion polls conducted therefore before, the majority of Iranians were perceived to vote for Mir Hossein Mousavi when compared with Ahmadinejad.

Thus, it was viewed as a landslide victory for the new presidential contender with Ahmadinejad seen as a looser. However, when the polls were conducted, the reverse was witnessed. After the votes were counted, it was realized that Ahmadinejad had garnered 60% of the polls prompting the entire population to go into the streets to express their dissatisfaction on the integrity of the polls. It was then that the strength of social media was realized (Hands, 2006).

Among the tools used to communicate information among the Iranian populace, included Twitter, blogs, and YouTube. These tools were used to communicate information to the local and international media, thus keeping all platforms abreast with the unfolding events. While it is widely contended on the role social media played inspiring the protests, it was evidently clear that information communication had a significant role in bringing about the protests. Thus, the only available platform upon which information to communicate information was social media.

Another area that experienced the impact of social media was the reforms based on the protests of the Thai red shirts. It was networking between the Thai citizens using social media that made the protests possible. Typically, Thailand is a country characterized by highly porous political systems with little regard for the rule of law and the constitution of the land. In addition to that, the political environment is eventually changing and taking a new shape. Thus, the media, particularly the internet, and the evolving social media are revolving slowly and influencing strongly on the political systems particularly concerning the civil rights of the people.

That is also because any media used to reach the people in Thailand has always been under strict control by the government of the day. That was also partly due to the old legislations that reflected the extent to which media remained under the control of the tight grips of the government. While examples abound on the struggles to free social media from the grips of the government of the day, it was the growth and usage of the internet that provided a good avenue for people to use social media to communicate interactively with the population.

On the other hand, the government of Thailand had realized the difficulty of controlling social media as a medium of communication and a platform to share information in the public domain. That was evident with the use of social media when protests were organized against the ruling dictatorship, referred to as the “Red-Shirts” (Against Censorship Thailand (FACT), 2008). It was when social media provided evidence of the strength associated with the use of information to transform governments and people to seek for their rights irrespective of the government of the day in power (Against Censorship Thailand (FACT), 2008).

Another evidence where social media played a critical role in influencing the way people could demand and seek for their civil rights were the protests by British students on the their tuition fees. A series of protests by the British students on tuition fees provided the baseline argument on the strength of social media and its role even in democracies that esteem and uphold the constitution. Online video could provide evidence of the disaffection of the students by the use of communication gadgets such as mobile phones and computers to share interactively the information. Among the protest areas, include areas covered by the protests during the British protests included occupations and local protests, typically influenced by the availability of information on the internet (Suarez, 2006).

These protests were characterized by occupations of various universities, occupations of central London with a number of vandals, and other clashes that saw the involvement of the police attempting to quell the protests. Thus, these protests were a significant indicator of the transformative force of ICT and particularly social media on the complexities of the society and specifically the transformative effects it has had on society. Typically, research shows that technology and particularly ICT has a profound effect on the activities of individuals, the interactivity people develop with others, how people interact with others, and information people share among themselves.

In addition to that, the digital revolution also comes with a change in the ways people communicate and share information. Thus, when people have the ability and freedom to share freely in an interactive environment, they become exposed to information about their civil rights based on widely available information and more particularly when they understand their basis rights. The current study therefore focuses on answering the research question on how online video has influenced civil rights of the public. Typically, online video can be made available on social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and others.

The Context of the Research

The current research endeavors to establish the role of online video that are posted on social networking sites such as Twitter and YouTube on the internet as a communication platform that provides real time access to information. Online video come in different forms, some edited and posted from the sources, others original video and footage, others provided as footage from mobile phones, and others taken by professionally trained reporters.

A wide variety of the selections provide source of online video, because some regimes, such as Iran might not allow professionals to move around and post their footage. However, the study focuses on the use of online media and especially online video in their varied forms to study its impact on the people’s rights and in particular, the civil rights of the public. In addition to that, the study endeavors to establish what constitutes a civil right and the role of information and education in making people know their rights, and how information is a powerful transformative force, changing the way society works.

On the other hand, the study views how informed people seek for their rights, since they become informed about what constitutes an individual’s right and the ability to participate in transforming society despite prevailing political situation of the day. Thus, the study focuses on online media as mentioned above that are platforms for online video and draws on the Iranian protests, the UK protests, and the Thai protests as case examples to provide a strong rationale for the study. Despite that, it is critical to establish the authenticity of the posted video to establish

It is worth arguing that information is the key to enabling people know what they want, how they want what they want done, irrespective of the freedom or prevailing democracy as in the UK, or repressive regimes such as Iran. On the other hand, information can be disseminated and used to fulfill adverse objectives from interested parties. However, the current paper looks at information as a tool to inform people about their rights when used appropriately.

Significance of the Research

The rational for conducting the study is to show the significance of online video as one of the tools used on social networking sites, which includes Twitter and YouTube, to provide people with information about their rights, thus motivating them to seek for their rights. The research focuses on online video, which is perceived as an educational tool which is interactive and which provides a platform for people in totalitarian regimes such as Iran to share information about their democratic rights.

Typical, the researcher views online video as one of the critical tools used to provide people both learned and those with little education the ability to comprehend situations as they unfold in real time. In addition to that, online video provides easy access to the entire despite the restrictions that can impede the dissemination of information to the intended audience. The platform is a powerful tool for information flow that some governments find difficult to block depending on the country’s geographic location, the people, and the country’s level of democratization.

In addition to that, the study provides a strong platform for governments to realize that with knowledge, people get informed informed about their rights making them possess the potential to express their rights irrespective of the repressions practiced by such governments. That is so despite the ability of some governments such as North Korea that succeeds almost entirely to block the usage of internet especially for political purposes. On the other hand, Iran chose to go the way to convince the western nations and other democracies of the world that it is a democratic country.

Statement of the Research Problem

Online video has become a powerful tool on social networking sites to inform people about their fundamental civil rights, arousing a sense in the people to seek for their civil rights using online video on social networking sites such as Twitter and YouTube. That has caused governments that have practiced repression and aggrandizement of people’s basis rights anxiety, as people have, by the use of online video on social sites to share information about their fundamental rights with the potential to bring about social changes that respect the fundamental rights of every citizen.


The aim of the current study is to show how online video on social networking sites has influenced the public to seek their rights by protests and other tools based on information and knowledge acquired on their rights with Iranian protests, UK protests, and the Thai protest as cases studies.


The objectives of the study are outlined below:

  1. To identify what constitutes online video
  2. To establish how online video on social sites facilitates knowledge acquisition about people’s rights
  3. To establish the rationale for using online video in different political systems of the countries that includes UK, Thailand, and Iran.
  4. To establish how online video could be accessed through social sites including Twitter and YouTube despite
  5. What are the political activisms in each of the countries?

Research Questions

  1. What is a civil right?
  2. How do people get to know about their rights?
  3. What is the role of online video on social sites in educating people on their fundamental rights?

To inform the current study, the research will focus on the Iranian protests, the British students’ protests, and the Thai red shirts as case study examples to show the how social media could influence people to seek for their civil rights. Typically, the study will constitute literature review of different examples of social media and their impact on people in influencing people to seek for their civil rights and how civil rights can only be realized with social media.

Literature Review

Online video is a significant tool in social transformation where people struggle and actively participate in their liberation. The transformative effect of social media in the form of various tools such as online video has been evident, not only on the evidence of its impact on the political lives of people, but also on their rights by impressing upon them to view their rights as a problem demanding a solution.

Typical examples abound of online video that have had significant impact and transformation on the rights of people which have inculcated an approach for solving such problems in pursuit of their rights includes social sites such as web 2.0 which include Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter (Bimber, 1999). These tools provide a platform, which people use to share interactive information on various social, political, and economic issues that affect them. Thus, the platform provides information that acts as the driver for transformations witnessed since the launch of we 2.0 tools.

That has its baseline on the firm belief on the potential transformative force in people to realize their potential and human capabilities to initiate change in society. Typically, online video, therefore, plays the critical role of imparting knowledge in people, an education that leads to individual development contributing significantly to cultural transformations and the democratization of any specific society (Althusser, 1971).

However, from the perspective of education as a tool to impart knowledge in people, it clear from the formal approach used to offer education that education is limited to formal institutions that are inaccessible to the entire society in general. That limits those who access education as a tool to inculcate the transformative force in people. Thus, the use of internet as a platform for social media takes a significant share in imparting knowledge and education required for the transformative process.

In addition to that, contrary to the formal nature of education and approach used to offer education in formal institutions, the internet platform provides open and unlimited access to information sharing, despite a number of political restrictions imposed on it, particularly in certain countries that censure the internet due to varied political and social reasons (Bimber, 2000).

However, irrespective of the nature of the society, social media on an ICT platform has had inroads and made significant impact on the lives of people in the pursuit and exercise of their fundamental rights. That is evident in the rising subscription base of uses of social media across the demographic divide (Bimber, 2001).

One of the fundamental approaches that merge social networking cites and in particular, online video with people’s fundamental human rights includes the functionality of the involved media and the suitability for use in enabling communication in different directions (Starkey, 2002). In addition to that, social media provides the ability to inculcate the use of online video on social networking sites to impress users with the ability for individual empowerment to share information on issues that affect their fundamental rights.

On the other hand, social media provides the platform to inform people on what constitutes their fundamental democratic rights, a knowledge without which people cannot get involved in the transformation process. Thus, the transformation process becomes participatory in nature. Typically, therefore, social media, and in particular online video offered on web 2.0 tools are fundamental tools for bringing about social change. That reinforces the argument that online video provides the graphical presentation of information to enhance awareness in the designate people of their rights and the need for the protection of their fundamental rights.

Thus, the use of online video as democratization tool to inform people about their rights and brings a people inspired change thrives on the theoretical propositions about the benefits derived from the communication revolution witnessed throughout the entire world. In addition to that, the approach used to govern, manage, and regulate communication apparatus also contributes significantly to the decisive way of asserting and protecting human rights (Bimber, 2003).

However, the use of information systems particularly web 2.0 technologies constituting online video on platforms such as YouTube permeates the power hierarchies witnessed in governments especially in vertical and horizontal relationships between societies and their governments. In addition to that, the use of social media particularly across government departments and the society in general, with the ability to communicate and share information in the vertical and horizontal hierarchies provides the ability for the general population to access information. That information influences people’s relationships with their governments with typical examples illustrated in the use of online video used as a tool to attain the rights of users and the public in general.

On the other hand, governments are sensitive to communication tools that affect the political, social, and political positions of their governments in relation to their citizenry. Thus, communication systems and particularly social media have had a hypodermic impact on the politics of the society and perspectives developed by the society toward their governments and their political systems at large. The latter perspective provides the basis for argument to examine the impact of online media on human rights and democratization.

The declarations of human rights, based on the UN declaration of human rights, civil, political, economic, and cultural, are fundamental basic rights of any citizen, which are universal and independent. Thus, the centralities of human rights are constituted on the foundations of human dignity. However, the centrality and dignity of humanity are fundamental issues that some governments have failed to deliver to the citizen besides instituting stringent measures to ensure denial of the fundamental right to access information by the citizen.

Typically, the access and use of information in the public domain particularly communication media provides the baseline for the entire public and private life to develop a common moral language designated as human rights, despite the argument and philosophical debate that rages on the content, nature, and justification constituting a human right. However, it is through the communication media that people get to know and understand what constitutes a human right.

Research has shown that social media has a fundamental effect on the way people consume news and the content of information consumed by the public. In addition to that, social media provides a platform for people to express freely their rights and associate freely with others. In addition to that, the contribution of ICT and particularly the use of online video as a tool to enlighten citizens provide the basic underlying factors related to the impact of online video on the democratic rights of the citizens. Typically, civil rights are inalienable rights to be enjoyed by all and sundry without discrimination whatsoever.

There is an established strong link between democracy and the use of social media with online video as the byproduct of social media (Starkey, 2002). According to research studies, social media raises the visibility of the people concerning their civil rights and provides the foundation for networking, and delivering information to all audiences without biasness. That is in effect due to the information monopolies that characterizes a number of countries especially dictatorships.

Thus, for people to bypass these information monopolies and share information freely without any restrictions, social media provides such a platform (Salter, 2004). That is also due to the use of online video that communicates information in real time from one particularly hot spot to the international community without any restrictions. On the other hand, as mentioned elsewhere in the paper, even when governments attempt to impose restrictions, social media provides such a platform to enable access to online video (Blumler & Gurevitch, 2001).

Case studies

Case studies abound that demonstrate the impact of online video for educating citizens on their social, political, economic, and cultural rights. Case study examples include the Iranian protests, which occurred after the polls, the Thai Red shirts protest matches, and the British tuition fees protests (Article 19, 2007; Against Censorship Thailand (FACT), 2008; Parr, 2009). Analytically, therefore, the case study examples constitute some of the sources of knowledge to inform the current study on the impact of online video on the civil rights of the citizens as discussed below.

Iranian Election Protests

One of the fundamental tenets of the civil rights of the citizens of any country is to exercise their right in different areas. One such human right is to elect a leader without external or internal interference in exercising their civil rights. Rights, in the context of the current study are related to the fundamental freedom to exercise the right to elect leaders. It is important to note that rights vary from the fundamental right to life, the right to security, and the right to liberty.

Other perspectives of rights include servitude, rights related to torture or degrading treatment, the right to recognition before the law, right related to discrimination, and a range of other rights as declared in the universal declaration human rights document by the United Nations. However, the current research focuses on the civil rights as one of the fundamental rights of every citizen in every country in the world (Cohen & Stone, 2009).

Thus, civil rights are identified as one of the fundamental human rights. However, some authoritarian governments deny the fundamental human rights to their citizens and endeavor to close every avenue citizens might use to learn and exercise their basic civil rights. That was the case with the Iranian elections and the use of social media hosting online video to impart the knowledge and information on the electorate and their fundamental rights (Campbell, 1996).

Among the platforms of social media that brought to light extensive coverage of the elections were Twitter and YouTube (Best & Kellner, 2001). It is worth noting that both sides of the electorate used the platform to express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the outcome of the elections. However, the current study focuses on the impact online media had on the opposition of the election voices during the elections, becoming one of the reasons for the dissenting voices being heard loudly.

Studies of the elections showed the critical role social media played in extensively covering the elections by providing an avenue to the electorate to access and disseminate information among different groups (Cohen & Stone, 2009). In addition to that, the electorate was able to interact in groups by communicating collaboratively over the internet on the conduct and outcome of the elections.

Typically, the disputed elections served as a referendum on the embattled leadership of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which was marred with claims of blatant attempts to bribe the voters. That was in view of the isolation experienced by the country and the restrictions imposed on personal freedom by the Iranian government. Then political turmoil set in when the elections were decreed won by the incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as endorsed by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Following the endorsement and the announcement, a number of street protests escalated with claims of violence, intimidation, detention, arbitrary arrests of political dissidents and citizens, and clashes with security forces witnessed (Cohen & Stone, 2009). Typically, the protests were evidence of people in the quest for their civil rights (Cohen & Stone, 2009).

The rationale behind the political turmoil witnessed in the Iranian elections was evidently due to the rapid dissemination of information shared interactively on social media particularly online video that could provide actual information on progress of the elections and undertakings on the ground. The ICT platform could be used to communicate online video between different groups of people. The sharing of information was typically to enable individual development of knowledge that could lead to the social transformation witnessed in the aftermath of the elections. Thus, ICT platform served to provide the education on the people about their fundamental rights cultivated in the human agency by the tools used on social media such as online video (Cammaerts & Audenhove, 2005; Cohen & Stone, 2009).

It also allowed people to debate on their rights and demanded that the government as the sole agent of enforcing civil rights and freedoms of people to play its rightful role of providing people with their fundamental rights and every aspect that is constituted in the fundamental rights of the people.

The central role played by any social media is to inform the citizens of their democratic rights and the right to share freely information and enjoy the liberties to assemble, speak, participate, and publish information and enjoy free and fair competition without any undue influence either by individuals or by the state in seeking for any political post. That was never the case for the Iranian elections.

However, people were able to access information on the abridgement of their fundamental civil rights and the freedom of the citizens constituted in such rights (Cohen & Stone, 2009). Thus, people were able to express their dissatisfaction through protests in large numbers. That was an indicator of the impact of online social media and in particular the use of online media in educating the public on their rights. That makes it critical to examine the role Twitter on the political turmoil that descendent on the Iranian government shortly after the elections to demonstrate the impact online video could have on the disseminating knowledge on the fundamental rights of the citizens (Clifford, 2008).

It was in June 12 when the Iranian elections were conducted with claims of irregularities witnessed and reported even before the polls were cast by the citizens (Cohen & Stone, 2009). Typically, the medium through which these reports were delivered to the citizens was and that played a central role in disseminating information was online social media.

Typically, that as due to the fact that people and politician had discovered the power of information and the role played by social media in communicating information to the citizens in seeking for their rights. In the context of the current research, it is important to understand the fact that information was critical and central in influencing the way people thought and viewed the elections, which could be delivered only to the citizens through media, that was available at the time (Clont, 1992).

One of the important components that characterizes the Iran is the number of young generation that has grown with technology and especially the use of social media. In addition to that, the young generation understands well how to use the social sites to communicate and pass information from one point to the other. Typically, an additional benefit that characterizes the younger generation is their acquaintance and the rate of usage of the internet and particular social media.

Research has shown that the younger generations spend a significant amount of time online to chart and share information with peers compared with older generation. On the other hand, research shows that the younger generations are exposed to information from different sources that make them aware of their democratic rights and other human rights that are fundamental to all human beings.

It was reported that over 3 million people took to the streets and protested against the outcome of the elections in Tehran, Iran. In addition to that, online media reports had it that Mir Hossein Mousavi was kept under house arrest for a significant period, an abridgement of the basis fundamental human right of individual freedom of movement an association (Cohen & Stone, 2009). On the other hand, some social media reports were erroneous about the Iranian lections, when it was reported that the president of the election monitoring committee had annulled the polls. However, it was later realized to be a lie posted on online media (Clifford, 2008).

However, it is affirmed that mistakes of the kind noted above tend to be corrected in real time, though, it showed a lack of balance in the approach used to communicate information from one scene into the internet. Typically, there are bound to be errors in the way information is presented on social media.

The information delivered through online media influenced the believe in citizens that the polls could not be free and fair, and urged it upon the citizens to begin looking for tools to express their feelings and attitude toward the elections. One of the immediate tools at their disposal was online media. These media included platform such as Twitter, and YouTube. Thus, it is critically important to examine in detail how the online media was used by citizens and how it influenced their pursuit for their democratic rights. Another example that was widely influenced by the use of social media includes the Thai protests. These protests were also referred to as digital protests (Clifford, 2008).

The Thai Protests

As mentioned elsewhere in the paper, democratization, and particularly providing people with information forms the baseline for people to express their civil rights. However, countries such as Thailand have strictly controlled any avenues to access information. With the advent of the digital media, and in particular the internet, access to information provides the basis for people to express their rights.

Access to information in Thailand had increasingly become available due to the availability and access to social media. On the other hand, the ability to control the flow of information through the internet had become difficulty for the government of the day due to proxy servers and other avenues through which information could be communication. As mentioned elsewhere, when people access information, they become aware of their civil rights.

That was the case with the Thailand, which views civil rights as a threat to the stability of the country. Despite strong measures and legislation to control access to information through the media, the government of Thailand could not manage to control the flow of information and online video showing the protests through social media. Thus, the social media provided the ability and opportunities for people to voice their grievances and demand for their basic civil rights on an international audience (Against Censorship Thailand (FACT), 2008). It is important to note that online video attracted thousands of viewers eager to understand the events on the ground, besides attracting thousands of people to rise and protests for their civil rights.

One of the social media tools that played a significant role in influencing the people of Thailand to seek for their civil rights included Twitter and YouTube among others.

Reported findings showed a strong link between the political unrests that occurred in Thailand between March 20 and May 2010. Despite concerted efforts by the military to contain the situation in Bangkok, social media particularly online video could provide the platform for informing people on the progress on the ground, people were able to continue with the protests since information could be posted form a single point and be accessed at any point from the internet.

Thus, the government of the day was not able to contain and restrict people in seeking for their political liberties. On the other hand, due to continued failures by the government of the day to honor its promises to hold elections, protests could proceed and a significant number of people lost their lives. Typical examples include the death of an Italian journalist on May 28 and 250 protesters.

That information was available online culminating to the arrest of a man who posted an online video on YouTube, leading to the protesters seizing a police station on May 2010. The online video was characterized by warnings of impeding unrest sparking further protests. Thus, it was a strong indicator of the power of information on the hands of the citizens and particularly with the use of online video on sites such as YouTube. Another area that showed the strength of online video was the British protests when student went on to protests on tuition fees.

UK Students’ Protests

It was when the Labor government introduced the Teaching and Higher Education Act of 1998 leading to the massive student protests. Typically, the act was introduced to reduce spending in education, thus increasing the cost of tuition fees. Students were able to organize the protests by the use of social media and online video on social networking sites (Gabbatt & Lewis, 2010).The National Union of Students in collaboration with the University and College union organized these demonstrations. Despite a series of protests and violent outbursts, a large number of students across the education divide participated. It was on 10 November when the protests surged with online video showing student demonstrations around the Palace of Westminster as shown in picture 1 below.

Picture 1. Protests.

During the demonstrations, clips posted as online video on social networking sites including YouTube and Twitter were presented before the students in an attempted to quell the protests. However, students realized so soon that the raft promises given to the effect of reducing tuition fees were not honored, sparking a new wave of protests (Gabbatt & Lewis, 2010). Online video provided the progress of the student protests that eventually culminated in support from other students throughout the country.

On the other hand, students and the press were also able to capture the entire protests progress and post the videos on online sites to register the progress of the protests. Thus, online video played a critical role in equipping the students with the knowledge on their fundamental civil rights to the access of education as a universal human right (Gabbatt & Lewis, 2010).

It was in November 24 when another major protest sparked by the use of social media that evidence of the strength of social media in enabling students and people in general to seek for their civil rights were demonstrated. According to online media, reports showed that students could National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) facilitated a number of massive protests across the UK on education and related matters using online social media.

In these protests, students university and school going students demonstrated by walking out of class. In addition to that, the students invited others to join them in the protests by use of social media. A number of protests were witnessed in different parts of the country and protesters were able to keep abreast of the progress of other protests from video-posted online (Gabbatt & Lewis, 2010).

Online media provided an excellent platform for expressing dissent or feelings about people’s rights in Britain due to the speed information travels and readiness with which it can be accesses (Grossman, 1975). Previous examples of organizing strikes show them to have been painfully slow, poorly publicized, and concentrated in one place compared with technologically supported strikes that allow real time communication and access to information. Typical examples include the coal strike of 1902, the United Miners Workers of America in 1899 to 1900, and the 1902 strike of the anthracite coal (Grossman, 1975). That brings out the resounding difference between use of internet technology and the old methods of disseminating information.

Use of Twitter in Iran

One of the fundamental characteristics of Twitter exploited at the time of the Iranian elections and that influenced citizens to seek for their rights through the dissemination of information about the elections included its simplicity for use. Many people, including novice users of the application could find the social site interactive and flexible to use thus, suiting their needs. In addition to that, the majority users could access information about their fundamental rights in a democratic process, their potentiality to demand for their basic rights, and the ability to use online media to transform the way their government works and handles their rights.

The latter could be attained using a platform for sharing information that users can access and interact with others. That was the case with the Iranian elections and the citizens of the country during and even after the elections. On the other hand, the portability of the platform provided another advantage for the use of Twitter, one of the social media platforms that people preferred to use to disseminate information about their political, social, economic, and cultural rights enshrined in the fundamental human rights declarations (Sussman, 1997).

Other arguments in support of social media as a platform for the dissemination of information leading to people to seek for their political and social rights included the agility of the platform, when especially subjected to scrutiny by the Iranian governments of the day. That included the opennenes of Twitter to create and allow public forums on the platform with little censure and interference from the government (Sussman, 1997).

In addition to that, Twitter could provide the a simple method for protesters to communicate with others on what they are currently doing and intend to do, their current location in relation to a political activity, and the ability to Tweet from any point in the country. In addition to that, the use of tool such as simple cell phones allowed the public to Tweet from any place with a cellular signal (Terry, 2005).

Further, Twitters, among other social media, are public forums with the ability for anyone to view any comment from any part of the world without the restrictions that characterize other social media. It is important to note that democracy, as one of the philosophies that enshrine the principles of justice and fairness to all individuals can have their feelings expressed on social forum platforms like Twitter.

Social media identifies the use of communication as a tool for social mobilization as was evident in the protests during the Iranian elections. In addition to that, social media actively encouraged its use a platform to mobilize the protesters in their political life.

Research studies show that social media and particularly Twitter is a versatile website designed to evade the Iranian government internet blockades and censorship with Twitter applications being the specific applications and servers enabled to evade the censure. In addition to that, the Iranian people realized that a number of applications could interface with social media to provide the platform for accessing the social forums to express their political opinions and register their discontent in the usurpation of their rights (Watson & Mundy, 2001).

These applications have the flexibility of enabling communication between individuals by accepting data that is routed to the social media application servers which eventually passes the data to the social media services. Typically, if the government took the initiative to block social media such as Twitter, then the blocked information could be bypassed using social media applications. Thus, making social media one of the versatile tools to access and disseminate information.

On the other hand, proxy servers provided alternative routes used to bypass the Iranian government blockades thus providing the public access to information, which is the most important and critical component in the realization of their rights. In that way, people could remote computers could be set up in the country and social media applications such as Twitter applications could run in the computers located anywhere in the country.

Typically, that could benefit the people by allowing unrestricted access to information. Thus, a user in the restricted region could use the remotely located computer connected to a proxy server which could then requested to retrieve all websites, enabling access to the filtered websites. Typical examples of such applications that served to provide people with unrestricted access to information included the ÜberTwitter, which also hosts proxy-servers. Thus, people were able to provide daily updates and content in the political arena. In addition to that, the uploaded content could be used to inform and influence people’s attitude toward the government.

On the other hand, it could enlighten their political, social, economic, and cultural rights. In theory and practice, when people become enlightened on their fundamental rights, they become more adept and seeking for the rights, thus necessitating them to seek for approaches of impressing upon the authorities about the need to be allowed to practice their rights. That was the case with the Iranian elections (Weare, 2002).

Social media particularly Twitter provided a platform for informing the public about what was happening on the ground in real time during the elections. The information provided a powerful tool for people to decide on demanding for their fundamental democratic rights. An account of the Iranian elections and the implications of social media in influencing the people to seek for their rights came about when information on the outcome of the elections, despite indicators that there could be a landslide victory for Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Typically, predictions on the landslide win were based on information on social networking sites on the in internet that showed the trend in the outcome of the polls and counting progressed. Thus, people were kept informed about the progress of the polls. The critical component in this case was social media and the flow of information. Typically, information flow on the internet and other social media linking different people together could be shared on the same platform, in this case Twitter.

It was however, stunning to realize that Ahmadinejad was announced the winner of the polls with over 60% of the total votes cast. It was at this point that the Iranian people realized foul play and proceeded to register their grievances over the conduct of the votes. Typically, social media played a critical role in bringing information to the international scene and the local scene among the Iranian citizenry. Among the tools used to convey information to the public and the international scene included YouTube, bloggers, and Twitter (Weber, Loumakis & Bergman, 2003).

One of the characteristic of the technology that significantly contributed to the success of the role played by social media included technology loopholes, cyber-warfare, and proxy servers that characterize internet technologies. Typically, information could be conveyed to the right destination at the correct time to allow people make immediate decisions, thus, playing a significant role in the protests. It is therefore important to study what constitutes civil rights (Foucault, 1980).

From a technical perspective, different countries have shown different success and failure rates in implementing internet censorship and the usage of special media as a platform to share information (Reporters without Borders, 2011). Typical examples include North Korea that has largely been successful in filtering inflow and outflow of information. While the technical aspect of the censorship plays a significant role, other factors include exposure to information, computer literacies, and owning computer hardware and software.

The baseline argument for the success rates in North Korea is due to government involvement and censor of each uploaded content and sites accessed are filtered and closely monitored. On the other hand, for the Iranian case, the government does not censor every uploaded content in the way of approval and disapproval, but only filters content, though it metes out punishment on people who violate the requirement not to upload certain content perceived as dangerous to the state (Reporters without Borders, 2011). However, there are two pronged perspectives to accessing the internet and using social media. That includes high levels of IT literacy and satisfactory literacy in the user.

Civil Rights

Civil rights, according to the international declaration of fundamental human rights are a category of individual rights that offer and protect individual expressions of personal freedom. Personal freedom includes the protection from infringement by governments and other bodies supposed to provide protection to the citizens. In addition to that, civil rights constitute free and fair participation in process and social transformations that lead to individual freedom (Weber, Loumakis & Bergman, 2003).

Typically, people are free to participate in political transformations and without any repressions and discriminations of any kind. Thus, people are also free to use any platform including social media, and in the context of the current study, online video on the internet platform to communicate and share information that affects their freedoms and freedom of expression. Thus, civil rights bear the impression upon governments of the day to provide the requisite freedom to express their opinions and ensure physical integrity of the people, safety from external and internal aggressions, and other forms of discriminations.

Thus, the freedom of thought and conscience, the right are fundamental and established societal pillars of justice and the exercise thereof of the rights (Weimann, 2005). In addition to that, rights are, in the context of the current study individual and group rights. Individual rights constitute the freedom to individual freedoms irrespective of the prevailing environment, while group rights are rights exercised by people in groups such as the right to communicate in groups on the social media platforms such as the internet.

In the context of the current study, group rights and individual rights were expressed on the internet using online video as a way to bring to the people knowledge on their civil rights. Thus, the right to post and online video, the right to share information, the right to express oneself on the social media, and the right to access information is a fundamental basic right (Feenberg, 2002).

On other hand, an economic barrier to entering the internet is intertwined with IT levels of literacy. One might be IT literate but economically not afford the hardware and software platforms required for social media. On the other hand, once acquired, the media might be used as a shred platform for sharing communication. Thus, from the perspective of the current research study, it is assumed that the Iranian society has a high ratio of Internet users and IT literta people, while UK people have highest level of IT literate people. On the other hand, the Thai people also provide another example of a society with a significant IT literate people.


The current study will constitute qualitative and quantitative approaches based on available literature on the use of internet as a platform for social media. The baseline will be a study of how communication and information influences people to seek for their fundamental human rights, and the role of information in influencing people to understand their democratic rights (Glesne & Peshkin, 1992). In addition to that, the study attempts to understand what constitutes human rights in the context of the current research and in relation to democratization, and the role social media and in particular case study examples, which include the Iranian elections, the Thai red shirts protests, and British tuition, protests (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998).

In theory and practise, the sample to use consists of target group participants with different characteristics among the entire population under investigations. The difference in characteristics includes demographic distributions based on the use of social media, people with knowledge on social media, the frequency with which people across different groups access social media (Clont, 1992)

It is important to identify the rationale for conducting a survey as the single most important data collecting method compared with other candidate statistical methods with equal qualifications for use in the study. Surveys are in practise categorised into a census and a sample survey. Each of the techniques is uniquely specific-to-specific approaches of using the study (Creswell & Miller, 2000).

One main disadvantage with this approach is the cost associated with administering questionnaires to participants of the entire population, time required to administer the questionnaire, and the large amounts of resulting data to analyse. However, much redundant data has to be analysed in the analysis process making the process more complex and time consuming (Davies & Dodd, 2002). Typically, the data comes from the population constituting people, who have or have not used the internet and particularly social media and the impact the social media particularly online video has had on enlightening them and impelling them to seek for their rights (Creswell & Miller, 2000).

However, one advantage specific to the approach is the high degree of accuracy of the resulting data attainable if the population on which the study is conducted is a small population. Thus, a sample survey is a convenient tool for conducting the current study. A sample survey might not cover up to 100% of the entire population to examine but a percentage of the entire population. Sample data is obtained relatively faster and accurately and often yields accurate information about the entire population to examine (Creswell & Miller, 2000).

Importantly, there is no relationship between the size of the sample survey and the size of the population under investigation. Despite that, large samples yield much accurate information about the survey being conducted. However, a sampling frame, in theory forms the source of the materials to be used in a study. Typically, as specified below, the study will concentrate on a sampling frame descriptive of the study being undertaken. In addition to that, the sampling frame constitutes each area of study that affects the outcome of the study. Thus the sampling frame specific to the study include:

  1. People who have used the internet.
  2. People who acquire knowledge on the internet.
  3. People who are influenced by the internet.
  4. How often people use the internet.
  5. People who have acquired knowledge on the.
  6. People belonging to different age groups using social media.
  7. People across different demographic influenced by the social media to seek for their rights.

Each of the above samples are defined by different characteristics with each of the items falling into a specific category. In addition to that, it is easy to access and research in each of the sample units identified in the study. On the other hand, each of the participating units are the people or end users of social media.

Importantly most of the people using social media considered in the study could be reached through their email addresses in Iran, though the government has in places strict rules governing the use of social media on the internet. On the other hand, a logical organization of the units will depend on the characteristics of the units being examined.

Typically, these units include people who have knowledge on the use of internet, people with knowledge on the use of social media, people who are assisted to work on social media, the frequency with which these people communicate using social media, demographic distributions of people who use social media. In addition to that, the units constitute how often people have been influenced with knowledge on their rights, and how often these people share information with others on the social media platform on their rights, and the role social media has played in educating them of their rights (Creswell & Miller, 2000).

Sampling Technique

Different techniques are used to identify specific characteristics of the samples used in the study to ensure good distributions and sample representations. In addition to that, different techniques were employed to ensure accurate and fair distribution and representations in the sampling frame. These included ensuring equal representations of the study elements, with each sample with unique characteristics are included in the study (Creswell & Miller, 2000).

However, some problems bound to arise during the study related to the sampling frame identified prior to the study included errors such as duplication of samples, wrongful data entries, and false samples. To overcome such problems, measures such as identifying missing elements and incorporating them into the frame were used. In addition to that, another method included querying the statistical tool used for data entry, and reducing the effects of group clusters, identified to cause negative implications on the groups to examine (Crocker & Algina, 1986).

Distribution of the Sample Mean

To ensure higher levels of accuracy, statistical and validity tests were conducted on the distribution of the sample mean, typically, by subjecting the sample mean to a test statistic. The test statistic included randomly selecting some samples from the population of independent observations with replacements done to ensure consistency characteristics of the samples. Then, calculations on the sample to obtain the mean of the samples under investigation were done. The mean of each of the samples were calculated from the entire distribution to form a sampling distribution of the mean (Crocker & Algina, 1986).

It is important to consider the theoretical approach to borrow from in calculating the variance and mean of the distributions based on the following mathematical relations. Typically, population X was selected for the study.

Suppose the population had an expectation of E(X) =µ with a variance of Var (X) =α^2. On the other hand, n independent observations were made during the study on the population X, then from the study,

E(X1)= µ1, E(X2)= µ2, a condition that uniformly repeated itself to the nth item, represented as E(Xn)= µn.

On the other hand, the variance of the mean mathematically related as Var(X)=α^2 was applicable for the entire series terminating at Var (Xn)=α2

Thus, the sample mean of the population under investigation was obtained as indicated in the following relation:

E(¥) = Equation where n is the sample size, and E(¥) is the sample mean. Deductively, therefore, the sample mean E(¥) is equivalent to µ.

On the other hand, the variance of the data was calculated based on the equation Var(¥)=α2/n.

Thus, the standard deviation was calculated based on the equation, (α2/n)1/2 which is also the standard error of the distribution.

Data Collection for the Study

Data collection for the survey began with accurate description of the population to be surveyed. An accurate description of the population could provide a clear and focused approach to obtaining the actual data analysed in the study. In theory and practise, the target population included the following:

  1. People who have used the internet in Iran
  2. People who acquire knowledge on the internet
  3. People who are influenced by the internet.
  4. How often people use the internet
  5. People who have acquired knowledge on the
  6. People belonging to different age groups using social media
  7. People across different demographic influenced by the social media to seek for their rights

Pilot Study

To ensure the validity of the questionnaire based study and that the results using the questionnaire were valid, the researcher initiated a pilot study to address the issues raised in the research questions. In effect, the pilot study constituted a technique to address problems associated with earlier research techniques on the impact of online media on people’s rights..

Validity of Research

The research relied on both qualitative and quantitative research techniques (Babour, 1998). The qualitative paradigm is strongly embedded on recursive evaluation research findings with underlying research problem and research questions (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998). In addition to that, qualitative research is open to a variety of inquisitive techniques. In addition to the advantage on qualitative research, qualitative validation of the research draws heavily on measures against standard values embedded in a scaled measurement.

Therefore, in practise and in theory, both approaches can strongly inform the validity of a research. However, deviations from initial expectations based on the progress of the study are some of the critical elements that provide an early warning that the study is incurring problems. On the other hand, the occurrence is evident when initial assumptions made about a specific study appear to be in conflict with new or current trends in the study, which fails to establish a level of consistency in the findings.

Different approaches are used to evaluate the validity of the research and the data used in the study. Different techniques specifically applicable to qualitative and quantitative research techniques account for the validity of a research project (Healy & Perry, 2000). One of the approaches is the transactional approach. The transactional approach is an actively interactive technique, which calls for interactive participation of the researcher and as a team player. On the other hand, different techniques can be used to validate the research based on the transactional qualitative research study. One such is an inclusion of an array of participants who interactively play the role of members checking every phase of the progress of the research project (Healy & Perry, 2000).

On the other hand, a transformational approach, which is critically vital, is another approach to evaluate the validity of the qualitative study. Findings based on the transformational approach indicate it to be the approach to rely on extreme cases where the validity of the findings essentially registers a radical deviation from the eventual idea of the research (Campbell, 1996).

However, many researchers have also presented other viewed about evaluating the validity of the findings of research (Campbell, 1996). Arguments against such approaches indicate that, the measures used are based on the paradigm under investigation, thus integrating the error that might be due to the errors in the measures into the results. In addition to that, measurements sometimes provide overlapping modes of inquiry to which the research and validation of the inquiry are based.

However, it is important to incorporate the scene under consideration in order to inform the study about the validity of the findings. In addition to that, it is important to be fair to scientific paradigms of validation techniques based on a holistic view of the paradigms to evaluate the validity of the research and other related measures (Campbell, 1996).

Different authors present different views on theoretical propositions about transformational validity in which the transactional approach can be used to validate a research. In that respect, a continuum view about the positivist’s argument that validity is hardly attainable is one critical component of the study. The approach indicates validity to be relative and should be pursued endlessly. In order to bolster integrity of the findings in a research as an approach for validating the research, triangulation was integrated further into the study including member checking, thus bolstering the integrity of the research (Crocker & Algina, 1986).

One approach when using transformational validity for evaluating the validity of the findings is to begin by identifying a specific problem upon which the validation is to be done, then, making explicit the value of the validity of the findings. A critical element here is the crisis of representations that define the findings (Glesne & Peshkin, 1992). Typically, a meaning can be derived from the results by indicating giving the impression of multipronged suggestions from the study.

One could conclude that the issue of validity may draw on the perspective of the researcher based on internal and external experiences. In addition to that, the views about validity of the research are represented in the multiple dimensions of the inquiry in question. In dispute, therefore, validity cannot entirely rely on a specific technique or measure since views by different researchers are also subjective to an individual’s perceptions (Creswell & Miller, 2000).

Reliability of Instrument

The reliability of an instrument used in research is an indicator of the quality of the outcome of the research and the reliability of the measurements and results obtained from an inquiry. A reliable instrument has to be developed through a process that identifies weak points and attempts to minimise the occurrence of error in the measuring instrument. Reliability therefore is a critical tool in evaluating the consistency of the instrument used in the study and the accuracy of the scores resulting from the use of the instrument. Thus, the internal and external consistency of an instrument is of critical importance (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998).

Several issues have been related to the validity and reliability if instruments used in research.

Validity draws on the reliability of an instrument by fulfilling the objective intended for the study to from the research on the role the social media in influencing people to understand their democratic rights. N the other hand, the respondents are human and subject to the subjectivity of the human mind. In addition to that, it is important to subject the questionnaires to the questionnaires to internal and external validity tests. In theory, calculations based on a mathematical relation between different variables used in the study are expressed below:

α = k cov /var/( 1 + (k – 1)cov / var). In this relation, the number of items included in the measurement scale is represented by k, the covariance between the items is represented by cov, and var represents the average value of the variance between the items. Thus, α = kr/(1 + (k – 1)r)

In the above mathematical relation, r represents the number of correlations between the problems in the related to the lack of information on people’s rights, which crystallizes the significance of using social media as a platform to study the impact on the democratic rights of the citizens. It is important to identify limitations to the above mathematical relation specific to the Crotch Alpha scale.

Content validity

The validity of the content in the questionnaires is important when determining the true nature of the effects of the problems associated with a lack of knowledge on the democratic rights of the citizens and a standard to evaluate the response of the citizens against the people. According to Babour (1998), each of the items used in the study and contained in the questionnaire should be clearly and logically organized to enable clear presentations of the facts involved in the study (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998). In addition to that, the samples used in the study should be clearly representative of the entire population under investigations (Glesne & Peshkin, 1992). To ensure the content covers all areas subjected to the study, expert advice was sought for at this stage.


Constructs used in the study may show deviations from expected results. Such deviations may result from the use of data that might interfere with the actual results (Campbell, 1996). These might include noise variables captured in the research design. Typically, therefore, it is of critical importance to identify and select the most appropriate scales to use that target the specific issue under investigation.

On the other hand, the validity of the instrument used was selected following specified procedures and standards (Charles, 1995). The selection criteria has to address the problems associated with the impact of social media and especially online vide on the discourse of the rights of the citizens. On the other hand, it is important to identify and select the specific measuring instrument specific to the study (Eisner, 1991).

Selecting the Instrument

These instruments were selected based on specific areas to be applied in the research on the rights of citizens and the influence online video has in influencing people seek for their rights. The instruments were intended to specifically address communication problems in different countries, , interactivity of people on the social media on the internet platform, and its influence on people to seek for their democratic rights.


The theoretical approach to self-measurements is based on identifying the level of activity of individuals on the internet and interactivity on social media. It also consists of identifying the behaviour of the subjects being studied in response to the questions posed in the questionnaire, and the effects of different variables such as their knowledge and influence to use social media in communicating with others on their rights (Davies & Dodd, 2002). Other factors related to individual measurements include the level of knowledge of an individual worker, skills, and personal experience in using social media platforms and behavioural influences on individuals.

Data Coding and Data Entry

Both, qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were applied to collect and address data requirements for the study. According to Naoum (2007), both types of data are characteristically different. A significant number of scientific research studies generally agree qualitative research to be highly subjective (Patton, 2001). According to Patton (2001), qualitative research is subjectively naturalistic and produces results that do not rely on statistical methods to collect and analyze. On the other hand, quantitative data, according to Stenbacka (2001), Strauss and Corbin (1990), and Wainer and Braun (1988) show that should be assigned numerical values depending on the, measurement scale and area of application. Thus, quantitative data will be assigned numerical values while qualitative data will not.

Measurement Scale

Scientific research is grounded on measurable facts, which are worth integrating into the current study. Different researchers have used different measuring instruments with different scales. Thus, measurements scales significantly vary widely based on either a qualitative or quantitative research methods applied in this inquiry. On the other hand, it is worth noting that the reliability a validity of instruments used in the research has to be verified against well-established industry standard measures. It is therefore important to investigate the reliability and validity of quantitative research and qualitative research to inform the study.

According to Joppe (2000), reliability is “The extent to which results are consistent over time and an accurate representation of the total population under study is referred to as reliability and if the results of a study can be reproduced under a similar methodology, then the research instrument is considered to be reliable” (p. 1). Joppe (2000) and Kirk and Miller (1986) reinforce the sense of replicability and repeatability as the baseline for the validity and reliability of results.

On the other hand, quantitative research methods can only be evidently valid in a research if the results from an inquiry remain consistently similar. On the other hand, if the results remain stable and unchangeable over a long period, showing no deviations from previous measures in the same area of study, then the measure are reliable.

On the other hand, the validity issue was applicable on research instruments used in the inquiry to capture response from different participants. Thus, questionnaires, observations, and interview formed critical tools for quantitative study. On the other hand, qualitative research, which formed a significant portion of the study, focused on literature reviews on the usage of online media and in particular social media.

Data Analysis and Results

Data analysis will be conducted to fulfill the objectives of the study, typically to crystallize the need for a performance evaluation framework and factors identify variables to institute in the framework.

One of the basic approaches was to capture data into SPSS software, a statistical package for social science (SPSS) tool to capture all data obtained in the research for analytical purposes. The approach is critical in organizing and formatting the data into structures that can easily be used to draw conclusions. One basic characteristic of the software is the interface it provides to the user making the software user friendly.

Tools for Data Analysis

It was important to make informed choices about the most appropriate data analysis tool to meet the objectives of the study. Different tools were identified and incorporated into the study as detailed below.

Relative Importance Index (RII)

Relative performance index (RII) formed one of the critical tools in evaluating the relative importance of performance measures and indicators in the contractor industry. These factors could be organized in terms of their implications when evaluating the performance of contractors at different levels of project implementation lifecycle. These performance indicators are at the procurement stage and are related to the performance of the stakeholder at the procurement stage, the project phase in stage, and project phase out stages. These indicators provide a basis for evaluating the stakeholder to reinforce the need for a performance evaluationframework. In addition to that, the prevalence of the factors in the designate area of study can also be evaluated beads on the following mathematical relation.

RII= Equation where RII lies between 1 and 5 respectively.

In the scale, Wi is given a weight ranging from 1 to 5 and each of the respondents selects a single weight against a specific item. Thus, assigned values range from 1 as the nil, 2 is weighted as low, 3 is weighted as moderate, 4 weighted as High, and 5 weighted as very high. Another tool used in the analysis of the data the product moment correlation coefficient.

Product Moment Correlation Coefficient

The product moment correlation coefficient provides a measure of the degree of the scatter of various factors defining the impact of social media and are numerically expressed to lie between -1 and +1.

-1<r<1, where r is the numerical value of the measure relating the values included in the study on the responses of people across the demographic divide..

The measures can be perfectly correlated when the values of r lie between -1 or +1. A -1 value of r indicates a perfectly negative correlation while a +1 value of r shows a perfectly positive correlation. These are measures used to find the correlation between paired data. In this case, the pair of values used is numerically expressed.

One critical benefit of using r as a measure of the correlation of the factors included in the study is its independence from the units of scale used in the variables.

Mathematically, the product moment correlation coefficient can be calculated based on the following relations:

r= Equation where Sxydetermines the covariance of the values include in the relation.

Another tool used in the study to analyses the correlation between data values was the Spearman’s Coefficient of Rank Correlation, rs.

Spearman’s Coefficient of Rank Correlation, rs

Spearman’s Coefficient of Rank Correlation, rs was used to establish the impact of the performance index expressing the impact of social media on the democratic rights of people. In addition to that, the impact of the factors that are used as standard measures in the study will be evaluated to measure the impact of the performance of the variables included in the study. On the other hand, the relationship between the impact measures and their relative impact on the influence on people to seek for their rights can be ranked numerically using the Spearman’s Coefficient of Rank Correlation, rs. Thus the impact of social media and in this case online video, can be evaluated both qualitatively and quantitatively.

On the other hand, the Spearman’s Coefficient of Rank Correlation, rs values provide the basis upon which deviations from empirical data can be established, time deviation can be determined, and the index for conformity or non-conformity to critical processes can also be determined. In addition to that, the degree of user information and response can be determined, the ration between the information inputs and behavioral outcomes can also be determined and the relationship between these factors can also be established.

Each of the performance evaluation factors will therefore be assigned numerical values to rank each factor relative to the other. As identified elsewhere, the values will lie between -1 and +1. -1 indicates a weak correlation between behavioral outcomes in terms of the number of people seeking for their democratic rights, people with knowledge on their rights, and the overall impact on the democratic process.

On the other hand, a +1 value will indicate a highly positive correlation between performance evaluation factors on social media in relation to information and interactivity, and the level of activity of the people in seeking for their rights. On the other hand, if the coefficient of correlation is +1, then the factor contained evaluating the performance of the factors that influence the people to participate in protests will influence positive or negative outcomes which are mathematically expressed below..


Thus, the Spearman’s Coefficient of Rank Correlation named as rho (ρ) is calculated based on the mathematical relation shown below.


On the other hand, it is possible to make the calculation simpler by using the following mathematical formula:


The above mathematical formula can be used to perform mathematical calculations based on the statistical theory of the interdependence of the relationship between factors incorporated into the performance of social media in the discourse of the rights of the citizens of any country.

In the above mathematics, these relationships can be interpreted to imply the values of x I, and yi to be independent and dependable variables. It is important to determine the significance of the value of ρ can be calculated based on a permutation the formula,


The following calculation based on use of a excel spreadsheet to calculate the coefficient:

MS excel: {=CORREL(RANK(A1:A10,A1:A10),RANK(B1:B10,B1:B10))}

Another technique that can be used in the calculation is the regression analysis. Typically, one can use neural networks as detailed below.

Regression Analysis/Neural Networks

The effects of performance measures, risk performance index, and other related performance evaluation measures on the outcomes of the democratization process and key indicators on the willingness of people to participate in protests can be evaluated employing multiple regression analysis. In this analysis, the effects of a performance of the indicators and variables on the outcomes due to their knowledge of their rights can be evaluated.

On the other hand, regression analysis could be used to evaluate the relationship between performance measures in informing the public about their rights, and the rate of behavioral progress, such as active participation in interacting and sharing on the social media platform and willingness to participate in protests. Each of the elements included in the study when modeling the regression analysis were treated as independent entities. The rating could be done on the an excel spreadsheet for its flexibility for use by many participants.

According to Choy and Ruwanpura (2006), the model will be used to analyze several variables defining the performance evaluation of the variables specific to the rights of the people and the democratization process. Typically, the model will detail the relationship between dependent and independent variables in the current study consisting of several performance measures and index.

In theory and practice, the regression model will be defined by three variables that can be modified to fit into the current study. These variables include unknown variables with unknown parameters, and the tow dependent and independent variables mentioned above. These variables are mathematically defined below:


However, fro the model to be fitted for the study of the need for a performance evaluation of the democratization variables such as information on their basic rights of the citizens, a number of assumptions were made.

Samples used in the study were evaluated and determined to be fully representative of the entire population under study.

Minimal errors were identified on exploratory variables.

No error was identified including in the independent variables.

To enhance computations of the resulting computations are used. Thus, a general linear model is identified below:


Variance Analysis

A deviation or variance between expected values from the calculations and observed values are bound to occur. In theory, to test the mean of two samples, the following equation applies:


In addition to that, the above mathematical equation is applicable in an environment where the sample sizes subjected to the test are equal and on the assumptions that the distributions have the same variance. On the other hand, to test the mean of the number of people that participated in sharing information on the social media but never participated in the protests the following relation can be uses:


In the above relation, the grand standard deviation is designated as Equation , where Equation

In the above expression, 2n-n indicates the degree of freedom with n representing the number of participants in the study.

It is important to examine and identify the characteristics of the samples and their distributions. Thus, when the samples involved in the study are unequal with equal variance, the test statistic, t, is calculated based on the following equation:


The values of Sx1x2 are calculated based on the following equation.


On the e hand, some of the samples may be of unequal size and variance, thus, the test statistic, t, is calaucted beae on the follwiing expression, Equation where . Importantly, the values of both samples are equal.

Results and Discussion

Results based on the current study showed that a number of people participated in the protests were motivated to the protests due to information and online video posted on social networking sites. In addition to that, data based on the number of people who have interacted with the internet, who have been influenced by online video and other information is included in the appendix. From the study, different regions were used in the study to mobilize the data about different usages and the implication the usage had in the users.

The findings were shown on different sites as shown in the appendix. Typically, the data are raw facts that were processed into information to provide meaningful information that could provide answers to the inquiry on the discourse of people’s civil rights and online video.

Results from the above study were strong indicators of the role online video on the discourse and the civil rights on the people. It was the use of online video on online social networking sites that the Iranians were provided with a platform to air their views despite the restrictions placed on internet traffic. Typically, one of the sites, Twitter provided a platform that could be difficulty for the Iranian government to filter inflowing and outflowing information and information in the public domain.

In addition to that, the technical platform upon which Twitter operated, and in this case the internet provided capabilities for people to communicate instantly from one hot spot to another in real time. On the other hand, proxy servers characterized Twitter and a technical platform that could circumvent the filtering mechanism of the Iranian government to enable public access to information about the protests in pursuit of their civil rights. Another forum upon which the people could express their rights was YouTube. YouTube is characterized by workgroups that allow for real time communication of information on video, thus serving as a community-building forum where people are free to express their rights.

Results have shown that a significant number of people were particularly able to use Twitter to express their rights in the Iranian, Thai, and British protests. Of particular interest were the Iranian and the impact of online video in facilitating people to seek fort their civil rights through protests after the elections. Typically, Twitter is a cost effective and in most cases a free platform that is configured to address individual needs and limitations while providing the flexibility that people can cope with in its usage. In addition to that, it is possible to group online video and Twits according to the source and destination. In addition to that, the platform could provide the flexibility to address individual communication needs using mobile phones, devices readily in the hands of the younger generations.

Further findings in the study shows that online media provides a platform for people to seek for their civil rights by imparting knowledge and education on the fundamental rights of an individual. In addition to that, people with the basic knowledge can only pursue the pursuit of human rights on what constitutes a human or civil right. Typically, it is argued that social media provides the platform for social transformations by allowing people access information that inculcates a sense of want to pursue their rights.

In addition to that, information, that is available on social media and presented to the public as online video plays a critical role in imparting knowledge and therefore the education necessary for social transformations. In addition to that, it is demonstrated clearly in the research that education is the essential component that leads to cultural and political transformations. That is because a person equipped with knowledge is able to discern and understand what constitutes a basic right.

Thus, individuals are able to be equipped with the capacity to participate in the pursuit of their liberties. Thus, genuine education, apart from the formal education offered in schools provides people with the capacity in the pursuit of self-fulfillment. In this case, the use of online media can be used to provide the people with the ability to seek for their rights.

It is important to note that online media provides the platform for online video with the distinctive characteristic and advantages of online video. Typically, online video on is not confined to text and other length statements, but constitutes visual expressions and explanations of events as they are. Thus, one is able to understand, even one without formal education, the meaning derived from viewing online media. On the other hand, online video provides the baseline for communicating meaning that could require several texts to cover what had been expressed in a single video. That was the reason people were able to understand online video postings and respond within a short time with the protests.

Other social media platforms that acted as platforms for social media platforms included Twitter that played a significant role in the Iranian protests. Typically, it was the extensive us use of social media as a platform to communicate online video that Twitter provided the platform for people to share information and urge themselves to join in the protests. Thousands of people defied the Iranian regime and took to the streets as mentioned elsewhere in the paper. Thus, social media and particularly the use of online video played a significant role in the facilitating people to participate in the protests.

On the other hand, the government put on efforts to block the sharing of information in the social sites. However, despite the efforts, it was not possible for the government to entirely successes in denying people the right to access information due to proxy servers set elsewhere that could still use the blocked internet service provider’s addresses.

Another scene where success of online media in enabling people seeks for their civil rights was in Thailand. For some time now, the government of the day in Thailand had no regard for the rule of law or the constitution. However, due to social media and online video postings, many people became aware of their democratic rights and had to rise in the pursuit of the rights. It was the red shirts protests in Thailand that bore evidence of the strength of information as a tool to bring about change.

That was by enabling people access to information, in this case online video. Typically, that was evident on the online video provided on the YouTube platform. However, it is important to understand what constitutes a civil right, the compelling force behind the Iranian, the British, and the Thai protests Freedom (Against Censorship Thailand (FACT), 2008).

Civil rights are fundamental rights entitle every person and are applicable anywhere irrespective of the prevailing environment. Thus, the universal rights of every citizen in any country are viewed as a common moral language that is accepted with a universal perspective. In addition to that, the rights of every citizen can be categorized into civil and political rights. In the context of the current study, these rights are the civil rights of the citizens of each citizen in each country. Typically, civil rights are rights of every citizen in each country that governments are bound to respect and not infringe upon.

Thus, each citizen of each country is bound to exercise their political and civil rights to participate in elections and other social transformations without any impediments by the governments of the day. In addition to that, civil rights provide the basis for governments to ensure physical and integrity of its citizens and every form of protection from any discriminations of any form. On the other hand, the fundamental rights of the citizen revolve around the rights to self-expressions, speech, and conscience.

In addition to that, civil rights constitutes the fundamental element of freedom of speech that enabled people to freedom of expression free from any censorships. Typically, the fundamental rights are expressed in the universal declaration of human rights under the international human rights law. Thus, the value of human rights in relation to freedom of expressed in the freedom to social interactions. Social interactions constitute sharing of information on social media such as the use of online video to share information.

Conclusion and Recommendations

In conclusion, online video is a critical tool that provides the basis for the public to express their civil rights as entrenched in the universal declarations of human rights as was evident in the Iranian protests, the UK protests, and the Thai protests. In addition online video presented on online sites such as YouTube and Twitter. On the other hand, online video evidently provides people with information and are educating, the fundamental tools that enlighten people on their basic rights and approaches existing their rights.

Typically, online video provides a platform for both the educated and less educated in society to interact and understand their basic rights and approaches to use to air their views. However, it is recommended in the current study that further research be conducted on the negative effects of online video to determine the extent to which information on social networking sites, which host online video, are accurate and reliable.


Site People who have interacted with online video
Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region 4 Region5 Region 6
No. of site supervisor/engineer 93 63 52 79 55 73
No. of male respondents 88 61 48 71 52 66
% male respondents 94.62 96.83 92.31 89.87 94.55 90.41
No. of female respondents 5 2 4 8 3 7
% female respondents 5.38 3.17 7.69 10.13 5.45 9.59
Years of internet users
No. of 1 – 5 yrs 3 8 3 5
% No. of 1 – 5 yrs 3.23 12.70 5.77 6.33 0 0
No. of 6 – 10 yrs 20 13 11 7 8 1
% No. of 6 – 10 yrs 21.51 20.63 21.15 8.86 14.55 1.37
No. of 11 – 15 yrs 42 11 19 30 20 21
% No. of 11 – 15 yrs 45.16 17.46 36.54 37.97 36.36 28.77
No. of 16 – 20 yrs 17 21 14 25 18 33
% No. of 16 – 20 yrs 18.28 33.33 26.92 31.65 32.73 45.21
No. > 20 yrs 11 10 5 12 9 18
% No. > 20 yrs 11.83 15.87 9.62 15.19 16.36 24.66
% No. of Mobile phone users 75.27 100 88.46 93.67 80 93.15
No. of those assisted 23 6 5 11 5
% No. of 24.73 0 11.54 6.33 20 6.85

Sample Questionnaire

Please select the most appropriate answer

  1. Male……………..female………………………
  2. Do you know what online video is……..yes…………..No………
  3. Have you ever used the internet Yes…………….No………
  4. If so, do you know what social media is….yes……………No……
  5. Have you ever interacted with social media….Yes….No…………..
  6. Do you know how to use social media……Yes……No…
  7. Have you ever used social media….Yes……….No……
  8. How often do you interact with online video…………..
  9. Do you use online video to learn about your rights…yes…No
  10. Has online video made you aware of your civil rights….yes………No.


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