Mohammed Ibahrine from Al Akhawayn University presented a paper on “Social Media and Political Activism in the Arab World” at the Politics 2.0 conference. Mohammed drew on the following 4-point conceptual framework to assess the role of social media in political activism: information management; conversation management; identity management and network management. The presenter stressed that conversation is more important than information.
In his presentation, Mohammed referred to the comment by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales: “Broadcast media brought us broadcast politics. Participatory media will bring us participatory politics.” He drew on the Arab world’s version of YouTube called Ikbis to support his argument. Mohammed also noted that the Egyptian government, unlike others, is less bent on using physical force and detentions as a means to deter the use of the Internet for the purposes of advocacy but rather works hard on discrediting the Social Media, by referring to it spying journalism.