The Arab Spring, in a glimpse of an eye, on Social Media.

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Let me draw the attention of my reader here to something related to social media, that we usually did not use to see, then we started to see, but nobody really paid much attention to this big transition of how my reader, and us, readers, of mass media, become vulnerable, become confused, and also how the quality of what we read dropped dramatically. We noticed a couple of changes prior to the Arab Spring, and prior to the new social media means that have become common and easy to access globally. Hopefully, I will concentrate more on middle east in my current article on what these changes are and how we tend to be surrounded with poor content quality around us, whereas, the real intellect content has nearly disappeared.

 

With the globalization of internet, with the increase of the number of social media sites, with the new political changes happening in the middle east and around the globe, a variety of reasons led to what is so called – Arab Spring – This wave, was believed to be driven against tyranny, against corruption and believed to be bringing democracy and freedom to the Arab third world countries, but as observers, we have seen different things happened, and that maybe, its campaign was saying something, and what was on the ground was something else. Let us cite a few examples of what we have seen.

 

The first thing we noticed, as Mr GRAOUID, Ex Professor at University Med V described “The notion of dare/daring” It stopped here, I m adding my explanations, People tend to have combatted their fear from politics, citizens started to speak openly about Rulers, about the Constitution, the ability to get out to the streets and shout. People has no fear in social media to show their revolutionary views/ideas against rules in the Arab world, I m not speaking about my view here yet, but just describing the situation “As Is”, then I will speak about how it moved to “What later Was”. That situation also witnessed the rise of peaceful demonstrators in countries such as Morocco. Differently, from what happened in Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and other places in Middle East. In Morocco, we had a different scenario, that ended democratically in changing the constitution, and this is thanks to the wisdom of His Majesty King Mohammed VI who well managed the situation locally. The first 2011 elections had participation of the Moroccan Islamist party who then took over the government ever since. That said, let us talk about the rise of Islamism in the middle east.

 

We actually have noticed the rise of Islamist political movements in the middle east, in other countries, and the worst, and that was what is posing a question mark, is the rise of extremism, and Islamist militia as well, such as what happened in Syria, we also noticed rise of ISIS by 2013. That said, the number of religious groups have doubled in Facebook too. This is not to mention how some famous Satellite channels have contributed to the Arab Uprising. This period was very challenging and had many groups argue who should rule, and what is the right ideology to adopt, is it Islamist Ideology, or Democracy, secularism, etc – I believe these discussions are still ongoing till now.

 

Well, we also noticed, the rise of absurd and very low quality social media pages, of people that are not eligible to provide journalism content, nor scientific content; this caused the spread of scoops, scandal videos, fake news, pictures taken without the approvals of citizens, all for the intention to create Buzz, or to get a big number of views, or to serve some political agenda. Question to ask, do our Arab consumers of mass media have the right immunity to filter/triage classify contents? I would say no, since we are in a world that has a high level of illiteracy, and when you have literacy, people do not have the habit to read history, politics, so our citizens in the Arab world are really vulnerable to the powers of propaganda – This propaganda is not necessarily political, as we know, that it is just the matter of having more fans that influence the masses.

 

Conclusion,

Although, we started our article with criticizing the drawbacks of social media, this has the intention of ringing the alarms of effects for the future, we are not pessimistic, in anyways, as the world continued to evolve, economies were nourished, interesting positive changes happened in Morocco for instance, in a peaceful and democratic way, a couple of thinkers continued to write, it is just that citizens need to look for the right content in all fields. We have seen the rise of illuminated thinkers as well. A couple of achievements were realized in Morocco in infrastructure and in Technology. Now, we are in face of a new big event Covid-19. I m leaving my article with a question mark, how would we overcome Covid-19?

 

Iliass Idrissi

Writer in Opinion

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