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Opinion: The War of Islamic Tweets - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English
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Opinion

Opinion: The War of Islamic Tweets

The Center for Strategic and International Studies released a statistical study that included 7 million tweets in Arabic, which in turn portrayed the image of social networking as an arena employed for means of egging sectarian conflict and waging verbal wars among the people with Twitter accounts.

They have taken advantage of network access to express not only their backgrounds but also their allegiances and stances on current conflicts, bombings, and other violent acts.

However we must also account for the other Arabic tweets that encouraged counterterrorism and fought sectarian feud.
With both sides of the coin showing up, one is confused whether the Tweets or Facebook comments truly reflect the public’s opinion and the social atmosphere of the countries they are posted from.

Meanwhile millions have gained access to the present technology allowing freedom of expression and thus exercise that merit, others that might as well be the entire other half of the country, or more, are still miles away from this hype of revolutionized social media; Which implies that this technology cannot be used to reflect or scale the general atmosphere and public opinion.
Nevertheless others had different approaches toward the present subject, which was that we cannot rule out the fact that the account users posting online are active members, even if they are just sitting behind computer monitors. They are still fighting their battles, except in an electronic field.

They also affect their society and communities, means of technology have allowed them to gain the advantage of rapid spread medium where they can impose their influences through. Their thoughts and posts spread quicker than lies.
The events of 2011 stand out as an example proving that social networking is an extremely effective and interactive directly reporting incidents and information graphically, in addition to publishing both validate and false news.
Governments that considered this medium a “child’s toy” with no substantial threat to it, underestimating the generation employing this technology, were crushed by the high tide of social networking.

The Internet has provided a stage from which those with no means to self-expression to not only express themselves, but also supplied them with an audience.

Moreover extremist and radical fanatics have perfected the art of utilizing simple well intentioned social networking portals for delivering their infectious ways to the public: sampling their exclusives “ your guide to explosives: courtesy of your kitchen” , graphic videos of beheadings, explosions, blood, horror , and their own line of works resulting of their philosophy on terrorizing people and spreading fear.

The atmosphere that perhaps helped in providing a nurturing environment for these abominations can be traced back to the conflicts, and fiery clashes flaring up the region in Syria, Yemen, and Libya in addition to the foreign interference present that endorsed sectarian feud.

We need to realize the necessity of wisdom and logic needed in resolving and relieving the current tense and poisonous atmosphere. We need to search for means efficient in limiting wars spread by social networking, and ban the usage of verbal abuse and hostile sectarian expressions.

We could only hope that taking control measures for these online violence and insurgence will prevent them from expanding their influence and realizing into battle fields on true soil and with real lives put at stake.

Ali Ibrahim

Ali Ibrahim

Ali Ibrahim is Asharq Al-Awsat's deputy editor-in-chief. He is based in London.

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