The protests began after a young man died by self-immolation after being ordered to shut down his fruit stand. Since then, larger issues like unemployment, censorship, and President Ben Ali’s long hold on power have become protest issues. And those protests have been organized and broadcast largely through social media sites.
CNN.com includes a rundown of the various bloggers, Facebook and Twitter feeds, and YouTube videos that have fueled the organizational efforts of the protests. These social networks have not only shared information among Tunisians, but with the outside world. The government also recognized the threat, with the story quoting a U.S. State Department concern that the government had asked ISP providers to hack various online accounts.