Report: Social Media's Role During the Arab Spring and A decade After its Onset
Madrid- Skyline International issued a report highlighting the prominent role that Social media played in shaping political debates which lit the fire of the Arab Spring, that started in Tunisia, then Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and the rest of the countries.
The report indicates that through social media, the Arab countries' various political parties deliberately conveyed their ideas and aspirations to change the political and social conditions of their countries. They highlighted their governments' violations and poor performance to end the suffering of citizens. These discussions, ideas, and dialogues had significantly fueled the protests in the Arab Countries in record time.
In its report, Skyline shed light on the crucial role of social media in the Arab Spring Uprising ten years after its onset, and how Arab governments exploited social media to silence any dissent voice calling for change or demanding basic rights.
Arab governments and regimes have tended to target social media due to its role in collective action; it helped move individuals and mobilize them for demonstrations during the past years. These authoritarian regimes increasingly politicized and sponsored online networks, using them as mediums to mobilizes public and influence their opinion. They also undermined public confidence in the mainstream. Moreover, they tightened their control over the media and online activists in the Arab world by purchasing and sponsoring many online pages.
The report stresses that the most dangerous practice made the authoritarian regimes is the enforcement and legislation of cybercrime laws that prohibit any content, which is not previously approved or licensed by their authorities. Therefore, social media and its users have become the main target of these regimes; these regimes stifled activists' voice and demand calling for better living conditions and exercising fundamental rights.
The report also shows that that the "Twitter" company closes dozens of individuals' accounts without violating its publication polices. The company loses its credibility worldwide as it encourages repressive governments to continue their violations of activists' rights.
Skyline confirms that its report content indicates deliberate and unjustified violations committed by some Arab governments that witnessed the Arab Spring revolution. These violations had undermined individuals' basic rights.
At the end of the report, Skyline called for immediately and unconditionally releasing prisoners of conscience and activists in the Arab countries, enabling individuals to exercise the right to freedom of expression and opinion on social media without restrictions, conforming national legislation and social networking sites' laws with international legislation and the fundamental rights of those countries' constitutions, and following up cases of arbitrary detention and restrictions on basic rights by the international community.