I was browsing through one of the newest digital magazines this week (Raseef 22), which is basically a democratic and independent magazine that’s targeting 360 million Arabic reader.
I found two interesting articles, related to our class and can give a non-Arabic person a perspective of what’s happening in the Middle East generally :
This article raises this question after the tragedy that happened in France. It is the first time that Facebook activate the safety check in a terror attack. (the previous 4 safety check situations were all natural disasters such as 2015 Nepal’s earthquake).
There are 78 million Arabic Facebook users, 23 million only in Egypt, and many of them were experiencing terror attacks recently. Lebanon, for instance, has 20 explosions since 2014 and tow of them happened just tow days before Paris attack. Many Lebanese couldn’t contact their relatives for a long period of time. Isn’t tremendously useful that Facebook offers this feature for such people in need ? Or there are other reasons to not do so ? (The Economist and CNN discussed the same question)
As part of its transparency, Facebook is publishing all the requests that were received from governments around the world regarding its users. The report is listing each country and its total requests, number of users requested and types of government requests.
Among Arab countries, Jordan has the highest total of 7 requests and 14.29% of requests where some data produced, followed by Kuwait (3 requests). These numbers expected to increase due to the Arab Spring revolutions. Many users are not using their real names to avoid government surveillance. Even developed countries, such as United States, have very high number of requests (around 17,577) which make it a global phenomena.
Regarding article 1 & 2,
Ethics, Politics and Social Media companies, what is your opinion on the controversial issues that related to these three powers ?
Do you think that it is possible for Facebook, for example, to face the political pressure ? Can these digital platforms be objective 100% all the time ? If not, when and why ?