Alex Nunns is the co-editor of Tweets from Tahrir: Egypt's Revolution as it Unfolded in the Words of the People Who Made It.
"Since the wave of revolts that swept the Arab world starting in December 2010, commentators have struggled to explain a phenomenon none of them saw coming. Searching for a distinctive factor at play, many have settled on Facebook and Twitter, aspects reassuringly familiar to their own lives. In an inevitable backlash, others have pointed out that revolutions happened long before computers were invented.
What has sometimes been missing from the debate is close analysis of what the revolutionaries actually used social networks for. In the case of Twitter it was primarily used as an alternative press. It was a means for those on the ground to report what was happening for the benefit of their fellow Egyptians and the outside world, and a place for emancipating bursts of self-expression."