Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

ISSN: 2165-7912

Open Access

War and the Worlds and the Promise of Social Media Tools


Badreya Al-Jenaibi

As a result of many years of repressive dictatorships, the people of Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
rebelled to bet their claim to democracy. The political uprisings have been commonly referred to as Arab Spring. In light of the uprisings, which started in Tunisia on December 18, 2010, the World Wide Web and its tools of social media were identified as helpful in aiding the uprisings. This study will focus on the role of the social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and weblogs in raising the Arab discourse and voice in the revolutions in four countries in MENA: Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Syria which were extensively revealed to the public and followed by the global community. It will closely examine the extent to which activists in the three countries used social media for organizing and creating awareness of political mobilization, and the role-played by the social media tools in the United Arab Emirates. Also discussed is how often the inhabitants of the United Arab Emirates use traditional and social media tools. The study will use well-known theories of communication. The aim is to place the use of social media tools inside a broader background of  communication. They are theories, which were devolved long prior to the advent of social media. The theories will also be used to explain the manner, in which inherent aspects of social media networks, which made them attractive to activists, and protesters in the three countries. The study used a multi-method approach, combining survey data from surveys with qualitative data from interviews. Surveys were
distributed to 600 people. 454 surveys were received back. For the qualitative part, 27 employees from various media organizations in the United Arab Emirates were interviewed. Data were analyzed using two main component analyses: categorization and descriptive statistics (median, correlation, one-way ANOVA and displays). The study found that after learning Egypt, Libyan, Tunisian and Libyan revolutions, most of the respondents used newspaper, television, radio, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, word-of-mouth, e-mail and mobile devices to spread or share this news.


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