The Impact of Social Media on the Middle East Uprisings

The lecture in class discussed the expanding availability of social media outlets in the Middle East and its effect on government censorship and the ability to gain and share information with the world. The ability to instantaneously spread information has allowed citizens from oppressed nations to gain power and speak out against severe political, social and economic issues. Despite attempted control from oppressive governments, social media is exposing the current crises and economic state of the Middle East. I believe social media has positive and powerful potential to revolutionize and transform the troubled governments operating in Middle Eastern countries that are part of the Arab Spring because, through the rapid growth and accessibility of technology; information has been made accessible to the world and that knowledge is the catalyst of revolutionary change.
Facebook and Twitter have undoubtedly changed the way we give and receive information. With the click of a button, the world can see a picture or video in seconds. With such information now capable of spreading rapidly around the world, people are informed. This has compelled people to intervene, start protests, campaigns and even intervention from the United States government in international matters. A prime example of social media exposing corruption happened in Syria in 2008. The fuel subsidies were abolished, tripling the price of fuel overnight. As a result, the price foodstuffs quickly increased. Subsequently, Syrian food prices rose 30%. Syrian bloggers reported, after the regime's attempt at a price hold it caused hoarding. The rise in global food cost hit Syria with devastation and exposed the incompetence of the regime and corrupt, fractured economy (Goldman, 2011, p. 38). Also, in 2008 the world was instantaneously aware after thefirst shots were fired in the Mumbai terrorists attacks, allowing the entire world an eyewitness account of the unfolding d…

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