Tag Archives: social media

#Twitter in Libya and Morocco

Twitter is one of the most popular social media apps in the world. People everywhere have become accustomed to getting their daily news in quick, condensed bits consisting of only 140 characters. Research conducted by Portland Communication in 2011 revealed that 68% of people in Africa used twitter to monitor the news within their region. Libya had 3,096 Twitter users and Morocco had 745,620 Twitter users.

Research conducted by Portland Communications: Twitter Activity of Africa in 2011.

Research conducted by Portland Communications: Twitter Activity of Africa in 2011.

During the Libyan revolution, the government shut down traditional media and the Internet in an effort to quiet the public unrest. Individuals took it upon themselves to spread the information about current events. Twitter replaced the previous method, which was word of mouth via telephone. Twitter became one of the most reliable news sources due to Gaddafi’s manipulation of the media. This also led to the rise of social media in North Africa.

Libyan protesters took to Twitter to win over supporters and combat the patriotic propaganda that Gaddafi and his supporters were constantly broadcasting to the public. They spoke the truth about what was going on and basically had a running play-by-play of the events of the revolution. When the government failed to tell the truth, the people made sure that the correct message was out there.  A popular site for protesters to visit was libyaFeb17.com, a site where various twitter posts and media related to the Libyan revolution were congregated.

The social media impact during the Libyan revolution was so great that the New York Times was quoted to say, “Whichever side wins this media battle will probably be well on the way to ruling the country.”

Morocco was ranked 5th in Twitter users in 2011. The social media site was extremely popular among younger people in the 20-year-old range. These people will grow older with Twitter and continue to drive the growth of the social media revolution. The Portland research report also showed that most tweets were coming from cities, which makes sense because that is where the most people are, and probably a good amount of the tweet-worthy activity.

The study was conducted once again in 2014. This time Morocco and Libya do not appear on the map. This could be because they are not the most populated cities in Africa and thus do not have as much Twitter activity to be monitored. However, it will be interesting to see how the social media landscape changes as time goes on. It is inevitable that Twitter use will continue to grow and spread throughout North Africa. The link to the study is included here.

Sources:

http://www.reinventinglibya.org/blogging.php

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/world/middleeast/24iht-m24libya.html

http://www.portland-communications.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/How-Africa-Tweets.pdf

http://www.portland-communications.com/publications/how-africa-tweets-2014/

http://www.ibtimes.com/twitter-exploding-africa-continents-growing-middle-class-demands-adidas-gear-samsung-1575882

http://libyafeb17.com/

 

 

 

Media Systems Take Libya (Post 1)

It is always nice to see areas that usually have no media interaction working towards being involved with up and coming Internet communication. Libya is an area that normally would have no local media, social media, or even world wide media involvement. Not only does the nation of Libya lack on the nation wide involvement but also they were also unavailable when it came to huge world wide news such as wars or terrorist attacks. Media in Libya was extremely dictated by the government, Could you imagine not being allowed you know if there was an attack or a major natural disaster somewhere in the work because your media was so strictly regulated?

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In an interview with Abdul Hafeedh Ghoga there were many interesting points made both defending and negating the need for media systems in Libya. The interview, which was conducted by Habib Toumi, the Bureau Chief at the Gulf News, included mostly the positive direction that Libya was moving it. “After four decades of autocratic rule, Libya is now in a position to create an independent, national media system that meets the needs of its people,” Abdul Hafeedh Ghoga, Vice Chairman of the National Transitional Council, said to Habib Toumi.

Also in that interview “”These principles and action items will serve as guideposts as we seek to put in place the type of media environment required by a vibrant, modern state. We are grateful to Northwestern University in Qatar and the many international experts who shared their insights during this unprecedented conference,” said Ghoga who headed the Libyan delegation and co-chaired the conference.”

This reference refers to the face that students from Northwestern University from America are volunteering there time where they feel it is necessary to help the people of Libya become media system independent. The people of Libya are more that grateful and welcoming of our help. They are aware that us here in the united state know what is going on.

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I personally find it comforting that we can use our knowledge of technology and our outstanding media systems to help the people of Libya. How do you feel about us being in other nations sharing our information and trying to better nations that are not our own?

Source: http://gulfnews.com/news/region/libya/libya-takes-first-step-towards-creating-media-system-1.949310

Blogging in Libya

Social media has had a major role in the advancement of the Arab Revolution. It has become an important tool used by individuals to communicate, organize, and exchange ideas. Blogging in particular has become a way for journalists, or anyone with something to say, to express their ideas and share them with the public. It is interesting that blogging, such a trendy medium in the United States, can have such a powerful political influence in Libya.

Before the revolution, many bloggers were intimidated by the Libyan security’s infiltration of the blogosphere. Freedom of speech is something that we are so used to as Americans, but we must remember that not all people have the liberty that we experience. It was nearly impossible for bloggers to address current events before and during the revolution because individuals could be persecuted for the words that they write. The Libyan government wanted to shut down any negative commentary about it in order to settle the unrest that was brewing among the people.

There was no traditional media during the revolution. This was probably because the government couldn’t control every single bit of information that was being produced. So, instead of keeping the public informed, they completely blocked them out. This only fueled the bloggers because individuals took it upon themselves to spread information. They would follow up on rumors of attacks, call friends to confirm and sometimes posts videos, images and links on Twitter instead of the blogs to reduce the risk of getting caught by Qaddafi’s social media monitors.

But, once again, the government shut down communication in an attempt to hinder the inevitable change that was coming to the country. The internet was inaccessible for the majority of the revolution. This made the dissemination of information much more difficult and was a complete violation on the government’s part on the rights of its people.

Social media became such a major form of communication in Libya because people had more freedom to say what they wanted, although not much more. There was a certain distrust among the traditional forms of media because they were biased. Although not from a major news source, social media somehow became the more credible source during the revolution. Individuals couldn’t trust the major publications because they were government owned, like Al-Jamahiriya, the Libyan state-owned television channel. They would constantly produce propaganda to put the government in a positive light.

I cannot imagine living in a world where the media is so manipulated that individuals do not know the truth about the current events of their nation. The United States may have media broadcasts that spin stories in a certain way, but very rarely is there a total lack of communication. However, if this were to happen, I could see social media becoming everyone’s main source of information. The people would band together to spread the information when the government failed to do so.

 

Sources:

http://www.reinventinglibya.org/blogging.php

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/world/middleeast/24iht-m24libya.html?_r=0