REASON #10: RESTRICTIONS ON COMMUNICATION AND CENSORSHIP
In today?s world, the young generation is growing up on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc. and is aptly labeled as the ?2.0 generation?. The young people, under the age of 30, form the bulk of the population in the Middle East, above 50% in many countries. With unemployment levels soaring despite higher education credentials, the youth have taken refuge in the ever-powerful world of the Internet, which provides them not only a voice but also the skills and qualifications to get employment and improve their social standing.
Many governments in the Middle East region, instead of addressing the frustrations of the youth and solving their problems, tend to ignore them or tackle with half-hearted measures. And when such measures backfire, the first step a government takes is the silencing of the voices of dissent and discontent by any means possible. The blanket ban covers not only TV, radio, newspapers, or books but encroaches on the Internet namely Facebook and other social media networks where young people converge and interact, often venting out their frustration.
A recent report published by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says five regimes in the Middle East and North Africa are among the world?s ?worst Internet oppressors?, bent on intimidating and imprisoning bloggers, journalists and online activists. The countries include Egypt, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
Read more about the solutions of the Arab Spring in our upcoming feature to be published soon.