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The Emergence of Social Media & the Political Crisis in Pakistan
Unformatted Document Text:  Social media & political crisis in Pakistan 19 lawyers’ struggle for the restoration of democracy and reinstatement of the sacked chief justice. One comment said: This is an example of what Shakespeare REALLY meant when he wrote: ‘First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.’ Most idiots who mouth the quote think it is a slur on lawyers. They don't realize that the two characters are talking about how to destroy freedom in a kingdom and enslave the people. The first thing you do to bring slavery? Destroy freedom's guardians. Looks like Pakistan's president knows his Shakespeare...” (Comment, E). The other two comments, however, were against the video message and condemned the lawyers’ struggle for the restoration of democracy. They also supported the police brutality against the protesters. A comment said, “I salute the police to teach these uneducated lawyers some manners. HIT THEM WHERE IT HURTS” (Comment, F). The textual analysis of the second video also provided the evidence of a political discourse that occurred among the viewers’ comments as the people were responding directly to each other’s comments. This level of discourse helps answer RQ2, which asked whether YouTube videos provide people an avenue to become politically engaged. Discussion This paper explored the role of social media during the hostile political environment in Pakistan in November 2007. The overarching theme of the study was to analyze the role of YouTube, journalists, and online communities during Pakistan’s political crisis when President Musharraf had banned the transmission of all the privately owned broadcast media for over a month. The study investigated the use of YouTube as an alternate form of journalism, fulfilling the social role of the media during the political crisis in Pakistan. The claim about journalists’

Authors: Arif, Rauf.
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Social media & political crisis in Pakistan 19
lawyers’ struggle for the restoration of democracy and reinstatement of the sacked chief justice. 
One comment said:
This is an example of what Shakespeare REALLY meant when he wrote: ‘First 
thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.’ Most idiots who mouth the quote think it is 
a slur on lawyers. They don't
 realize that the two characters are talking about how 
to destroy freedom in a kingdom and enslave the people. The first thing you do to 
bring   slavery?   Destroy   freedom's   guardians.   Looks   like   Pakistan's   president 
knows his Shakespeare...” (Comment, E). 
The other two comments, however, were against the video message and condemned the 
lawyers’  struggle for the restoration  of democracy.  They also supported  the police brutality 
against the protesters. A comment said, “I salute the police to teach these uneducated lawyers 
some manners. HIT THEM WHERE IT HURTS” (Comment, F).
The   textual   analysis   of   the   second   video   also   provided   the   evidence   of   a   political 
discourse that occurred among the viewers’ comments as the people were responding directly to 
each   other’s   comments.   This   level   of   discourse   helps   answer   RQ2,   which   asked   whether 
YouTube videos provide people an avenue to become politically engaged. 
Discussion
This paper explored the role of social media during the hostile political environment in 
Pakistan in November 2007. The overarching theme of the study was to analyze the role of 
YouTube, journalists, and online communities during Pakistan’s political crisis when President 
Musharraf had banned the transmission of all the privately owned broadcast media for over a 
month. 
The study investigated the use of YouTube as an alternate form of journalism, fulfilling 
the social role of the media during the political crisis in Pakistan. The claim about journalists’ 


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