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News Parody and Social Media: The Rise of Egypt's Fifth Estate

The term social media is intended to contrast the centralized mass media with the decentralized media of Twitter, Facebook and the like.
The capacity of social media to copy, quote, cite, link to, transform, and otherwise engage in metacommentary on mainstream media was crucial to the roles it played in Egypt's 25 January uprising. More recently, news parodies like El Koshary Today, the Bassem Youssef shows and Monatov and have emerged to play similar roles. These parody news programs represent a shift of political parody and ironic humor from the private realm of interpersonal interactivity to the public sphere. They offer a continuation of the anti-structural elements that began in Tahrir Square and offer a carnivalesque experience that exposes and inverts traditional hierarchies. Collectively, these institutions may comprise an emerging "Fifth Estate, a watchdog on the news media, who are supposed to be the watchdog on government and corporate intrusions into people’s liberty, but too often become their voices.