Friday, 6 May 2011

Tracking Friday Tweeting levels in Arab World

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Beirut is the city closest to Syria, has the strongest ties, and has the most to gain or lose from the situation in Syria and we anticipate high tweeting the city today.



Tahrir as the de facto Capital of the Jasmine Revolt and the site of pro-democracy protests ongoing. In Cairo scores of over 80 are very high.



Kuwait is a major hub for tweeting and it will be interesting to see if levels raise above their normal highs in the 80s.



Tweeting in Bahrain has fallen massively since the crack down, on a combination of arrests and state terror along with protesters on twitter learning to use identity hiding systems like Tor.

We are starting to see how tweeting may reflect a fundamental set of human rights. When a community like Bahrain's Shia's suddenly stop tweeting we can safely assume that repression of one form is being exercised against them. On the other hand if a community starts tweeting on a sustained level like the people of Cairo we can hope that new freedoms of expression being exercised.

Again twitter is just a tool. Its use needs to be linked back to bigger social processes that are forming history.

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