The influence of social media in the Arab world and Middle East

March 7, 2011

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(Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Egyptian protestors last month break paving stones defendING Tahrir Square in front of shop spray painted with the word Facebook

Google executive Wael Ghonim is considered a hero of the Egyptian revolution. In a CNN nterview he credited Facebook with starting the uprisings in his country and told the interviewer,  “I’ve always said that if you want to liberate a society, just give them the Internet.” Many believe social media sites like Twitter and Facebook played a significant role in recent protest movements across the Middle East and North Africa.

Jeffrey Ghannam is a journalist and lawyer who has worked in media development in the Middle East and North Africa. He began researching social media use in the region before any of the recent revolutions. He’s author of the report “Social Media in the Arab World: Leading up to the Uprisings of 2011.” He joins us to talk about his findings.