THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES ON POLITICAL CHANGES IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The influence of social media has been felt over many spheres in life. Over the past half a decade, the Middle East countries have been using the social media as a platform in airing their grievances on their governments’ nepotism, dictatorship, and economic stagnation among other political issues that have affected their countries since time immemorial. This paper discusses the influence that the social networks such as facebook, twitter, and YouTube have had influence on the political changes in the Middle East. The paper uses three distinct sources by Samantha M. ...view middle of the document...
The article dates back in January 25, 2009 and has stated that the use of facebook enhanced communication, creation of awareness, and rising of issues affecting the Egyptians on a greater scale than ever before. Samantha noted that thousands of young Egyptians set up facebook groups, where the members would contribute on their views about the state of their country and the issues affecting them. The article notes that the April 6 Youth Movement was one of the groups with dynamic debates, with over 70, 000 educated and young Egyptians. With such a big number of members, some of them had never been in politics but the group gave them a platform where they could air and discuss issues affecting their country.
The article by Philip N. Howard and Muzammil M. Hussain also discusses the role that the digital media has played in the upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt. The article discusses how the digital media has influenced people to call for change in the way their governments were treating them. According to the article, the digital media coincided with Mohammed Bouazizi`s case who set himself ablaze after being harassed by the government officials over an inspector`s fine. Bouazizi`s case sparked up emotions from the Middle East, leading to demonstrations demanding for political freedom. By 2009, many Egyptians had mobile phones that could access internet. The access of the internet by many Egyptians fuelled the online publicity of the grievances of most Egyptians on how the government had been mistreated them. The rising demonstrations stemming from the social networking sites had a great influence on influencing people on understanding their rights as Egyptian citizens. The loss that the public demonstrations had brought pushed Hosni Mubarak to resign from power, a step that marked the positive impact of the digital media. The article has noted that the digital media had started a gush of civil disobedience across Egypt and a unique means through which the Egyptians would organize themselves, ready to demonstrate for their political freedom.
The other article by Alexis Madrigal has presented an action plan by Egyptian activists, which was circulated prior to a major protest that would be in Cairo. The action plan showed the public on the ways they would prepare for the demonstration, illustrating how they would gain numbers from their neighborhood and handle the police during the demonstration. The action plan was not however not to be circulated over the social networks but through mails and print and everyone would ensure that it would not get to the hands of the authorities. The action plan thereby provided people with an insight on the preparations on demonstrating on how they would organize themselves, making it an effective strategy in making the government aware of their need for political freedom. From the analysis of the three articles, it is imperative to understand that all authors have praised the level to which the social networks...