An analysis of the effects of social networking in the arab spring

Connectivity, Creativity and Rights Athina Karatzogianni Download Abstract A cyberconflict perspective on the Arab Spring focuses in the first instance on the environment of cyberconflict. This includes situating the different countries swept by the Arab Spring in the world-systemic, geopolitical and international relations context, and the regional, and national socio-political and economic positions and relationships these countries have historically held. To put it simply then, this addresses the impact of the similarities and differences and identifies the common threads in the diffusion and spread of the uprisings across so many different settings. This is in addition to the obvious social media acceleration, diffusion and transnationalism hypothesis, which is offered relentlessly in the global mediascape:

An analysis of the effects of social networking in the arab spring

In the 21st century, the revolution may not be televised — but it likely will be tweeted, blogged, texted and organized on Facebook, recent experience suggests. A rebel waves a Libyan flag while standing atop a tank gun. Hussein Elkhafaifi After analyzing more than 3 million tweets, gigabytes of YouTube content and thousands of blog posts, a new study finds that social media played a central role in shaping political debates in the Arab Spring.

Conversations about revolution often preceded major events, and social media has carried inspiring stories of protest across international borders. Social media became a critical part of the toolkit for greater freedom.

Videos featuring protest and political commentary went viral — the top 23 videos received nearly 5. The amount of content produced online by opposition groups, in Facebook and political blogs, increased dramatically. Twitter provides a window into the broader world of digital conversations, many of which probably involved cell phones to send text, pictures or voice messages, he said.

In Tunisia, for example, less than 20 percent of the population uses social media, but almost everyone has access to a mobile phone. Data for the UW project came directly from immense digital archives the team built over the course of several months.

The research is unusual because the team located data about technology use and political opinion from before the revolutions. The Project on Information Technology and Political Islam assembled data about blogging in Tunisia one month prior to the crisis in that country, and had special data on the link structure of Egyptian political parties one month prior to the crisis there.

Political discussion in blogs presaged the turn of popular opinion in both Tunisia and Egypt. In Tunisia, conversations about liberty, democracy and revolution on blogs and on Twitter often immediately preceded mass protests.

Analysis of 14 million Arab Spring tweets reveals normal people drive huge movements

Twenty percent of blogs were evaluating Ben Alis leadership the day he resigned from office Jan. In the case of both Tunisias and Egypts revolutions, discussion spanned borders. In the two weeks after Mubaraks resignation, there was an average of 2, tweets a day from people in neighboring countries about the political situation in Egypt.

In Tunisia after Ben Alis resignation, there were about 2, tweets a day. The success of demands for political change in Egypt and Tunisia led individuals in other countries to pick up the conversation.

It helped create discussion across the region. Online activists created a virtual ecology of civil society, debating contentious issues that could not be discussed in public.

Ironically, government efforts to crack down on social media may have incited more public activism, especially in Egypt.

An analysis of the effects of social networking in the arab spring

People who were isolated by efforts to shut down the Internet, mostly middle-class Egyptians, may have gone to the streets when they could no longer follow the unrest through social media, Howard said.

So opponents used social media to identify goals, build solidarity and organize demonstrations. Download the full report at http: For more information, contact Howard at cell or pnhoward uw.Effects of social networking in the Arab Spring Between and , the Arab World witnessed the most technologically supported revolutions mobilized through social networking websites (Duiker, ).

Social Media has been touted as the way in which social networks form and can be mobilized to effect social change In particular, t. he Arab Spring has been heralded as a social media based social .

In Arab countries, many activists who played crucial roles in the Arab Spring used social networking as a key tool in expressing their thoughts concerning unjust acts committed by the government.

Yet, the role of social media and digital networks were mediatized in the global public sphere during the Arab Spring as an unprecedented phenomenon. Here established mainstream media coverage of the events, the protesters and the governments involved is still relevant. "Social media has certainly played a part in the Arab Spring Revolutions but its impact is often exaggerated on the inside.

Therefore, this paper shall discuss the impact of social media during the Arab Spring, and try to ascertain the extent to which it facilitated the growth of the movement. 2. Social Media and the Arab Spring.

The Role of Social Media in the Arab Uprisings | Pew Research Center