No, Malcolm Gladwell, Facebook and Twitter did not *cause* the Arab Spring. But they sure as hell helped, and there's a fascinating article in the latest issue of MIT's Technology Review that details exactly how, thanks to interviews with the leaders of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions (go read the whole piece - seriously - and see if it doesn't give you goosebumps).
In the US, at least for now, we have the luxury of sitting around debating how, or even whether, to use these tools. I think association professionals need to be reminded of the power of community and unfettered communication. It's bigger than us, and our organizations, and our parochial concerns.