The Role Of Social Media In Egypt's Arab Spring

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The Role of Social Media in Egypt's Arab Spring




Research Background1

Research Aim and Objectives3

Research Questions3


Emergence of Social Media4

Adopting Communication Technologies4

The Social Media5

Social Media Tools for Sharing7

Enabling Interactions10

Role of Media in Influencing Perceptions10

Electronic Word of Mouth12

Social Media and Electronic Word of Mouth13

Arab World and Social Media15

Not Cyberactivism Newbies17

Reason for Protests in 201119



Research Background

The Middle East and North Africa regions, specifically the Arab countries, recently faced a series of disruptive of protests, uprisings and events that soon became known as Arab Spring. During 2011, there was a wave of protests throughout the Arab world. It started from Tunisia and later spread to other parts of the Arab world. It was stated by Cottle (2011), that the most striking observation about these protests is just its historical importance and astonishing speed of successions throughout numerous countries, but also the way in which social media and communication mediums became extensively infused in them. These protests started with the revolution in Tunisia, which began on 18th Decembers 2011, and was successfully forced the President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, to resign on 14th January 2011, and deport t Saudi Arabia. This president was in power for more than quarter of a century.

These protest and uprisings later penetrated into Egypt, giving rise to Egyptian Revolution, which began on 25th January 2011 and ended on 11th February 2011. The movement was successful in removing the President Hosni Mubarak, who has been ruling Egypt since 1981. January 25th 2011, there were protests at mass level observed demanding to bring down the regime of Hosni Mubarak, with immediate economical and political reforms taking place in various regions of Egypt. After eighteen days of continuous demonstration of protest, the protest was successful in bringing the regime of the president, on 11th February 2011. The authority and power was handed over to Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to lead the country through the period of transition.

Accoring to Haddadi (2011) and Comninos (2011), ICTs (information and communication technologies), such as mobile phones, the internet and the social media, played a pivotal and significant role in the protests and struggles for human rights and democracy in the Middle East and North African regions. These have contributed in achieving a large number of objectives of the Arab Spring uprisings. The use of information and communication technology provided a great deal of coordination during the initial protests. Authorities made numerous attempts to control protests in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt by condemning the use of social media platform but they were not successful in these attempts. During these protests, social media served to be the initial platform for disseminating the news and information at mass level (Niekerk et al., 2011).

Social networking websites have emerged as a strong cultural and social phenomenon among a large number people using internet. According to Ellison and Boyd (2007), the main objective of these websites is to connect people, based on sex, race, religion, language, nationality, shared interest, activities, identities, and ...
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