The Role of the Internet and Social Networks in the Arab Uprisings An Alternative to Official Press Censorship

Soengas-Pérez, Xosé The Role of the Internet and Social Networks in the Arab Uprisings An Alternative to Official Press Censorship. Comunicar, 2013, vol. 21, n. 41, pp. 147-155. [Journal article (Paginated)]


Download (250kB) | Preview

English abstract

This research analyzes the power of the Internet and social networks in the Arab uprisings. We are interested in learning about the contribution of communication technology in low advanced societies in conflict situations and the value of the network as a link between young people who supported the changes from abroad and those who were directly involved in protests. On the importance of technology as a virtual communication tool we have conducted a series of online interviews with 30 young people from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya living in Barcelona, Madrid and Santiago de Compostela during the development of the conflicts and who were involved in the Arab Spring though the network. The research findings in this study prove that virtual support for uprisings were not based on coordinated actions, and that it was simply a confluence of similar acts coinciding in time and on the same platforms. The Internet and social networks served as elements for supporting the process and as a counterbalance to official censorship and to governmentsupportive media, and were useful for overcoming the isolation of Arab society, in order to make the conflicts visible and to attract relevant support from abroad. But it also showed that the network had constraints in the face of the consolidated propaganda infrastructure which existed in each country.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Internet, social networks, Arab spring, censorship, virtual communication, political conflict, citizen protest
Subjects: C. Users, literacy and reading.
C. Users, literacy and reading. > CB. User studies.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 08 Aug 2013 11:44
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:26


Belaali, M. (2011). Revolución y contrarrevolución en el mundo árabe. In ( (08-09-2012).

Canga, J. (2001). Periodismo en Internet: nuevo medio, vieja profesión, en Estudios del Mensaje Periodístico, 7 ( (01-09-2012).

Castillo, A. (2012). Los medios de comunicación como actores sociales y políticos. Poder, medios de comunicación y sociedad. Razón y Palabra, 75 ( (05-06-2012).

De-Rivera, J. (2011). El papel de las redes sociales (de Internet) en la revolución árabe: el caso de Egipto, en Sociología y redes Sociales ( de-las-redes-sociales-de-internet-en-la-revolucion-arabe-el-caso-de-egipto/) (08-10-2012)

Esteinou, J. (2003). La Revolución del ciberespacio y la transformación de la sociedad de principios del siglo XX. Razón y Palabra ( (09-07-2012).

Etling, B., Kelly, J., Faris, R. & Palfrey, J. (2009). Mapping the Arabic Blogosphere: Politics, Culture, and Dissent, en The Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University ( y (20-02-2012).

Fernández, H. (2011). La caída de Ben Ali: ¿hecho aislado o cambio de paradigma en el mundo árabe? (ARI), en Real Instituto Elcano. ( WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/elcano/elcano_es/zonas_es/ari14-2011) (11-10-2012).

George-Cosh, D. (2010). Twitter Plans Arabic website, en The National ( (10-01-2012).

Gómez-Diago, G. (2005). Tres criterios para evaluar la calidad informativa en Internet: credibilidad, cobertura, novedad. Global Media Journal. ( (17-03-2012).

González, N. (1989). Hechos y valores en la narración periodística informativa. Comunicación y Sociedad ( (10-07-2012).

Izquierdo, F. (Ed.) (2009). Poder y regímenes en el mundo árabe contemporáneo. ( (05-06-2012).

Lago, S. & Marotias, A. (2006). Los Movimientos Sociales en la Era de Internet. Razón y Palabra, 54 ( (08-09-2012).

Majdoubi, E.H. (2011). Las revoluciones democráticas en el mundo árabe, en Infoamérica, 5 Communication Review ( (07-10-2012).

Raoof, R. (2010). Egypt: Security Department to Monitor Facebook and Support the Government, en Global Voices ( (05-03-2012).

Roces, F. (2011). El nuevo mundo árabe: El papel de las redes sociales y de las televisiones por satélite árabes en la ola de cambios políticos en la región, en ( (08 10-2012).

Rodríguez, R. (1999). Periodistas ante conflictos. El papel de los medios de comu-nicación en situaciones de crisis. Pamplona: Eunsa.

Schechter, D. (2011). The hidden roots of Egypt's despair, en Aljazeera ( (15-03-2012).

Warda, N. (2012). Los medios de comunicación árabes, estructura y características, en Zer ( (11-08-2012).


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item