Social media helped fuel the Arab Spring, but in the latest round of turmoil in Egypt, officials and government institutions have also sought to make use of tools such as Twitter to shape public opinion. Researcher Eira Martens says this is a reminder that social media isn't inherently a tool only to aid uprisings, because it can also be used by those in power to reinforce the status quo. "Social media users of all kinds -- be it individual Egyptians, political parties, governmental actors, [nongovernment agencies] -- have learned to use the tools more efficiently for whatever their aims are," Martens says.

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