The Battle for Free Universal Education in Chile

Using YouTube in the Student Protests of 2011

in Democracy 2.0


The main goal of this chapter is to describe the use of YouTube during the Chilean student protests. Although the Penguins’ Revolution of 2006 marked a fundamental starting point in the quest for free public higher education, it was during the 2011 Chilean Spring that the real battle took place. In that period, students occupied their schools and expressed their dissent through the most significant demonstrations in post-dictatorial Chile. One of the things that makes this movement more interesting is the use of Media 2.0 as an instrument for change. Young people played a leading role in the discussion over education and over the need to make democracy more participatory. With the goal of provoking change to the Chilean educational system, students became directors and producers of short films that went viral on YouTube. While other social media such as Facebook and Twitter were mainly used to organize for protest actions, YouTube videos became a key tool for education, democracy, and change. These educational videos brought the students’ demands closer to the rest of the community. Through content analysis, this chapter examines these new forms of political activism and seeks evidence that the Internet has increased the role of citizenship. Overall, the main task is to provide a framework for the use of new media in relation to education and democracy.

Democracy 2.0

Media, Political Literacy and Critical Engagement


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