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The Frontlines of Saudi Arabia’s New Media War

Abeer Allam
Middle East and North Africa

Egyptian journalist and Financial Times Gulf editor Abeer Allam discusses the powerful influence of social media—especially Twitter—in Saudi Arabia. She explains that Twitter Is like a “virtual Saudi street,” where all barriers are removed and people can openly communicate—not only with each other, but also with the country’s leaders.Allam argues that Twitter also creates a more inclusive space for communication,as it bypasses Saudi Arabia’s draconian gender segregation laws. But Allam believes that the most important development to arise from the increased use of social media in Saudi Arabia is the empowerment of citizens to openly challenge political leaders online.

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