Gilad Lotan, Erhardt Graeff, Mike Ananny, Ian Pearce, danah boyd and I have written an article about the Arab Spring and the role of Twitter within this context. The Abstract is provided below and you can read a full version of the paper here.
This article details the networked production and dissemination of news on Twitter during snapshots of the 2011 Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions as seen through information flows—sets of near-duplicate tweets—across activists, bloggers, journalists, mainstream media outlets, and other engaged participants. We differentiate between these user types and analyze patterns of sourcing and routing information among them. We describe the symbiotic relationship between media outlets and individuals and the distinct roles particular user types appear to play. Using this analysis, we discuss how Twitter plays a key role in amplifying and spreading timely information across the globe.