25 Mar 2020

Social Media Platforms: an intricate role in the Arab world for a strong tool of influence

Dr. Ashraf Al Eisawy

Recently, the role of social media platforms has become so significant that they are no longer viewed as simple communication tools, but rather as important influencing tools used to manipulate information, shape public opinion, socialize and politically educate the youth. Some even postulate that they can spearhead change in the Arab world. Moreover, these have become the perfect platform for extremist and terrorist groups to spread their ill-willed ideas, brainwash and recruit young people. All these developments in the use of social media raise a set of important questions including the following: What is the nature of the factors that help further promote the role of social media? What is their impact on public opinion? How do they manipulate formation, build the youth awareness and raise their interest in politics? What challenges do they pose for the security and stability of the Arab states? How can these platforms be controlled and fine-tuned?

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