Interactive effects of networked publics and social media on transforming the public sphere: a survey of Iran's leaderless 'social media revolution'
It has been argued that hierarchical 'command and control' leadership is required to coordinate massive and rapid military or disaster response. Against this, the concept of leaderless 'social media revolution' refers to the wide-spread use of Web 2.0 social media by ordinary citizens to transform the public sphere and engage in collective political action, including coordinating massive and rapid protests against government. However, conceptual and empirical research efforts remain scarce to date. This research draws on the emergent perspective on causal agency in effecting change in social systems to examine our research proposition that the interactive effects of networked publics and social media would transform the public sphere for conversation when democracy is much desired by the citizens. We then discuss our online survey results and key findings of Iranian Face book users' views and experiences before, during, and after the 2009 Presidential election and in the aftermath of citizen protests.