Iggression: an examination of the role of digital technologies in the 2011 Arab Awakening
Type of Degreethesis
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Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are rapidly proliferating to cultures all over the world. The invention of Internet and its exponential diffusion created a new niche for studying social change within society. Sociological literature is useful in explaining past large scale social movements, however, the Internet and other current digital technologies may play important roles in social change, but little empirical information exists since Internet is still a relatively new phenomenon. Recently, there is growing controversy among world leaders pertaining to regulation of information via the Internet. Questions arise regarding who should “police” online content, or even if it should be policed, and if a country might use propaganda to ignite a protest movement in another country, a concept I call iggression. This study examines the role of ICTs in the 2011Arab Awakening movement in conjunction with population traits and social environment characteristics as influencers on political instability. The role of Internet and social media in social movements has significant future implications in terms of how organizations disseminate information to participants, recruit participants, and how they organize physical rallies or protest events. Additionally, the findings of this study indicate non-democratic regimes are more likely to experience increased ICT penetration rates as people seek ways to obtain and transmit information through new technologies.