The primary reason for this work is to submit and undertake research on social media functions in the rising conflict. In Syria today, social media is one of the most used electronic platforms to communicate with her citizens. Additionally, social media provides a critical platform for information spreading. Through social media, one can circulate videos, documents, messages, and pictures about the uprising for global, national, and local spheres.
This work takes a poised look at the effects and connection between demonstrators and Syrian citizens who, on several occasions, used social media to support or object the revolution. The paper looks at different scholars’ perceptions on the social media role in the Syrian uprising. The preferred research mode would be through a survey.
It has been asserted that the year 2010 through to 2011 were social media and the Arab world golden period. During these years, social media transformed its function from information spreading on global events to playing a significant part in political transformation against regimes in Arab nations. Social media provides an essential platform in bringing down authoritarian regimes through revolts and armed rebellions in the Arab nations. It is asserted that social media-fueled the spread of uprisings from one country to another in the Arab world.
In Tunisia, for example, social media catalyzes uprising after a video of a Tunisian man who took his life by burning himself to death in objection of brutal police treatment circulated in the social media. The circulation of the video clip brought about an unbelievable period of pro-democracy revolts in Tunisia. The revolution would later spread to the middle east. In Egypt, demonstrators brought down the authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak within thirty days, closing the curtains of his thirty-year rule (SHIRKY, 2011). The social media propelled uprising moved to Libya in 2011 against the rigid government of Gaddafi. The fall and frustrations of Gaddafi rule were circulated in social media due to the citizens’ demotions. The people of Bahrain rose up to protest against their dictatorial government led by king Sunni al-Khalifa. The protest by Bahrainis was not taken with a lot of easy (SHIRKY, 2011). The Gulf states and Saudi Arabia mobilized troops and deployed them to Bahrain to combat the uprising. The soldiers were also authorized to provide any need support by the Sunni al-Khalifa leadership. When the revolution died down, the large Shia community was subjugated.
Syria was the next Arab nation to experience a social media-fueled revolution, as the Arab world proceeded to experience robust protests by citizens. The Syrian people stood up against the authoritarian regime of Bashar al-Assad (Patrick, 2013). The Syrian president responded by sending the military to neutralize the protestors. The clash between the soldiers and the demonstrators led to the killing of four protestors in the town of Deraa found in the southern part of Syria (Ghattas, 2011). The massacre did not stop the determined demonstrators but reenergized them to proceed with the protest. After the military’s killings were circulated in social media, the nation took to the streets to protest against the Assad-led government (Patrick, 2013). Yemen was the final state in the Arab world to experience social media-fueled protests. The Yemenis began a revolt to eject Ali Abdullah Saleh as their president.
Qualitative research technique is the research method that will be applied in this study. The study partakes content analysis to examine the information gathered by relying on the primary sources like the data collected by carrying out surveys and gathering of information via internet source. Secondary sources like books, reports, journal articles, and academic studies. Therefore, the analysis and collection of information through content examination and qualitative technique provided the best methodology for the research.
The study fused both primary and secondary sources of information. The primary data on this study gathered information from the Syrian citizens, ancient technology, social media like Facebook, and newspapers. In social media, the study mostly zeroed in on Facebook since the Facebook folios played and still play a critical role in communicating the occurrences of the Syrian uprising. The protestors significantly relied on Facebook to get information and updates throughout the revolt.
Moreover, there are numerous varied assertions and discussions on the implication of social media on the never-ending Syrian conflict. The arguments and assertions have critically looked at social media merits and demerits with regards to the long revolution seen in Syria. To get the full truth of social media implications in the Syrian revolution, the research examined and discussed some of the critics’ ideas to be certain about the hypothesis of the study. The study relied on numerous secondary information, majorly the information that talked about a different perception of researchers. Evgeny Morozov is a scholar with a pretty different observation on the impact of social media in the revolt.
Syria, just like many Arab nations, has media restriction, and up to the period of the uprising, there were only two television states and radio stations managed by the Assad regime. It is asserted that out of a population of twenty-two million people, only twelve million people had procured and owned mobile phones (CIA, 2011). A majority of the Syrian population also possessed satellite to help get information from international broadcasting stations.
Close to five million Syrians were already using the internet when the revolt began. Just like broadcast media Syrian regime also restricts the use of social media, and at the onset of the uprising, only seventeen percent of the Syrian population who had accessed the internet were Facebook users (CIA, 2011). It is asserted that Syria was one of the nations around the globe who considered Facebook an enemy. During the protest and after the circulation of the brutal killings by the soldiers circulated on Facebook, the number of Facebook users and other social media sites like twitter grew at a faster rate. A majority of the Syrians and revolt organizers depended on Facebook to get information and call for actions against the Assad regime.
Besides, the foreign media houses relied on Facebook to obtain information, videos, and pictures of the revolt. The media station could also contact the organizers and freelance journalists via Facebook to get information and updates of the revolution fueling Facebook’s use. As a result of using Facebook to call for the Syrian revolt, the uprising has graduated to a full-blown diplomatic raw, civil conflict, and humanitarian problem (SHIRKY, 2011). Today, to get a better understanding of the Syrian civil war, one needs to have an insight into the regional and global political and economic interests of world powers like the united states, Russia, and Turkey.
Scholars like Evgeny Morozov has asserted that social media has done more harm than good. He says that social media has never been in the right platform for the provision of security and democracy (MOROZOV, 2011). He further states that social media, blogs, networks, and websites can be used to pass manipulative and misleading information to people against their regimes since they form the primary means of linking people around the globe (MOROZOV, 2011).
Twitter and Facebook are social media sites that played an important role in the Syrian revolt. It provided avenues by which information was sent, exchanged, and spread across the nation and beyond. It is worth noting that social media information alone cannot lead to a revolution, but other socioeconomic and political oppression pushes citizens to revolt. The merits of using social media in Syrian uprising are worth noting. It exposed the uncivilized actions of the Assad authoritarian regime not only to Syrians but also to the rest of the world.
CIA. (2011). The world fact book.
Ghattas, K. (2011). Syria’s spontaneously organised protests.
MOROZOV, E. (2011). CHNOLOGY’S ROLE IN REVOLUTION INTERNET FREEDOM AND POLITICAL OPPRESSION.
Patrick, H. (2013). Why the Syrian uprising is the first social media war.
SHIRKY, C. (2011). The Political Power of Social Media Technology, the Public Sphere, andPolitical Change.