Effects of Social Networking in the Arab Spring

Topics: Social network service, Sociology, Internet Pages: 10 (3407 words) Published: February 21, 2013
Effects of social networking in the Arab Spring
Between 2010 and 2011, the Arab World witnessed the most technologically supported revolutions mobilized through social networking websites (Duiker, 929). These websites assisted people in holding collective actions besides rising above their fears. Scores of people were motivated to join street protests thereby voicing out their concerns to their respective governments. The current worldwide age is because of the technology advancement. The independence of technology highlights the explicit weight in which the technology is provided and acclimatized. The communication technology is a power that has been provided and embraced with a strange drive. Advancement in technology has introduced mobile communication devices that let people utilize information technology anytime, anywhere. Notably, mobile technology refers to portable technology. It allows users to be productive through saving costs and time. A range of devices that enhances mobile computing include netbook computers, laptops, third generation Smartphone, personal digital assistants or palmtop computers and GPS (Global positioning System) devices (Duiker, 929). With more enhanced communication devices, social media devices are increasingly becoming more influential and versatile thereby making internet activity accessible on the go. While this is the case, social media tools acts as catalysts to social and political activities while the decision to initiate change lies on people.

Internet usage has become a source of information and expression in the Arab world. While some people in the Arab World believe that internet has become a censorship medium, others deem that it provides freedom of expression besides offering a channel through which people socially interact. Despite the fact that the internet has strengths of promoting flow of information and interactions, it holds staid negative and positive aspects. More importantly, social networks have become the most recent internet effective communities that most people are using all over the world. These social network sites are online spaces where users present themselves and establish or uphold connection with other people across all occupations and lifestyles.

The internet has largely helped in uncovering repression and corruption in Arab governments. Particularly, social networking websites enhanced the Arab Spring that took place between 2010 and 2011 in the Middle East and North Africa. Arab Spring otherwise referred to as Arab Revolution is a radical signal of protests and demonstrations that took place in Middle East and North Africa from late 2010 to early 2011. The Arab Spring involves protests that took place in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, and Syria among other Arab countries (Duiker, 929). However, the protests were instigated by repression, authoritarianism and totalitarianism facing the Arab World population. Evidently, the population suffered from high rate of joblessness, augmented rates of corruption and human rights violations. Through social networking websites, the Arab World population found a channel to let their political opinions known to their governments. With respect to Arab World, social networks have become an important tool for expressing opposition in dictatorial rules. Particularly, social networks have increasingly become digital tools that are critical to the success of modern social-change protests. Faris, Helmi a professional researcher who spend a considerable period in the Egypt, from 2007 and 2011 studying the role of social media during the Arab World protests, confirmed that social networks are digital tools that are significance in promoting social change through mobilizing people to join social-change protests. I engaged Mr. Faris in an in-depth and open-ended interview with the aim of collecting crucial data regarding the effects of social networking Websites in the Arab Spring uprisings. Among the questions...

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Kenneth Pollack and Akram Al-Turk. The Arab awakening: America and the transformation of the Middle East. New York: Brookings Institution Press, 2012.
Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner. Social media and the struggle for democracy. Texas: JHU Press, 2012.
William J. Duiker. World history: Since 1500. New York: Cengage Learning, 2012.
World Bank. Information and communications for development 2012: Maximizing mobile. New York: World Bank Publications, 2012.
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