Jon B. Alterman è il direttore del programma di studi sul Medio-Oriente del CSIS. Nel suo ultimo saggio pubblicato sul The Washington Quarterly Alterman sostiene, a mio avviso pienamente a ragione, che il ruolo dei social media (Facebook e Twitter) nella c.d. "Primavera araba" è stato sopravvalutato: "while the activists were a catalyst for the events of January and February, they did not drive them. Television drove them, framed them, legitimized them, and broadcasted them to a wide audience. There is no question that activists benefitted from social media (…) but social media do not seem to have been at the heart of the transformation from the ineffectual Kefaya and April 6 Movement protests to the sudden jolt of January 25."
E' errato quindi, afferma Alterman, considerare i social media come strumenti "rivoluzionari" in grado di sovvertire i precedenti assetti di potere i quali, infatti, rimangono tutt'ora forti e consolidati. "(…) the revolution has not yet happened. The events of January and February 2011 only opened the door to possibility (…).There is not yet a new phase in the political life in Middle East, but we can see it taking shape from here. Technology will play a role, but even more important will be more conventional organizations of people and ideas."