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The Arab spring and the media as the tool

by on October 10, 2013

In recent years, the world witnessed a number of revolutions especially in North Africa and Middle East those revolutions were known as The Arab spring. This blog will discuss the role of the social media as a tool, and not as a cause for those revolutions. We shall also discuss how this type of media was employed in those revolutions.

The social media was not the cause for those revolutions, it helped to communicate speedily between people, but, the main cause for these revolutions were people’s collective efforts to remove the dictator regimes. For example making secret meetings between young groups. Without the people efforts The Arab spring could not have happened anywhere. The Arab spring revolutions belong to people ,not to media”.(Seib: P3) The Arab people have used many methods during the Arab spring to succeed in removing dictatorships. However, one of those methods is the socialising between the people and groups of people through the social media and exchanging opinions about the unjust regimes as well as reporting incidents form their own prospective.  For example, in Tunisia  a guy burned himself because of the economic crises hardships on him and impoverishment  which he suffered so that he can not afford food. Tunisian people protested because of the lack of basic Human needs and due to the economics and the political corruption.



It has been argued that the social media was the main tool of the revolutions in Arab World, countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Syria were working hard to remove the dictator regimes.  The social media helped those countries to organise demonstrations and helped people to express their views through those websites .For example, YouTube was sharing different videos from demonstrations.  Moreover, the social media has helped to spread the meaning of democracy and how important free speech is. “Our evidence suggests that social media carried a cascade of messages about freedom and democracy across North Africa and the Middle East, and helped raise expectations for the success of political uprising,”  (university of Washington). The different stories  that people were sharing through social networks amongst others such as Facebook and internet blogs. People were reporting to each other what was happening. It can be said that without the social network and the sharing of information, images, videos and stories of the revolutions it would not have happened.


The number of people who were using social media have increased for example:- Facebook has 800 million accounts, most of those in the Middle East and Africa. Egypt alone has more than 7 million Facebook subscribers as well as Twitter and other blogs.


This helped people to know more about the meaning of democracy and how they can spread the word and how to develop t relationships with the other parts of the world. For example knowing more about other cultures. They also learnt how important is the role of the media in general and the way it can help their country to be rebuilt. For example, Egyptian people during the protests they were organized by social media to clear the cities by certain programme, which  is called “keep the city clear”. As well as, it is being connected with outside world`s citizens to gain support for them and to demonstrate in front of their embassies in foreign countries. It also has galvanised people in other Arab states to protest against their own dictator regimes. For example, in Syria it started with students, they saw the Egyptian revolution through the various types of media, which gave them prospect of protesting and try their own change of regime.


However, the social media has changed the traditional hierarchies by utilizing the various networks. This new kind of media is helping Arab nationals to discuss their governments’ behaviour and don’t allow dictatorships to spread in the region again.   However, the problem with this kind of media is connecting unknown people to each other, from the seat in front of the computer screens, and may have different agendas or they are provocateurs or may have foreign agendas which may and can destroy the stability of their nations.


However, others will argue that that social media was not the main tool as in Tunisia, for example traditional media is accessible by 93% only.  The internet was accessible by about 23% only because many exist in rural areas, apart from that most people in Tunisia cannot read and write , therefore the main tool that was used tis exchanging information through radio and television. ” The older printed media and radio in much of the world, these are still the best way to reach people “(Philip  seib P4 ).

To sum up

It is important to understand that the Arab spring was not caused  by social media, it was  caused by the  people, who believed in change. However, social media became a tool, which was employed to communicate and arranged demonstrations. However, the social media was only one method which helped to spread the information around the world. There were many other tools such as traditional media which helped to spread the information, nevertheless these kind of tools have had always agendas behind them.





Seib P . 2012 Real time Diplomacy. US

Seib. P  . 1997. Headline Diplomacy: How News Coverage Affects Foreign Policy. Uinted States


BBC. Article number 12813859 . released on 20 December 2013 . Access on 2/5/2014

France 24 . Article number 20130604 . released on 4/6/2013 . . Access on 2/5/2014.


Scribd  digtal Liberary . Access on 2/5/2014.

University of Washington . Access on 2/5/ 2014




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  1. very interesting and informative article, you expresses the idea clearly well done.

  2. Many thanks I hope that I make the point clear

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