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Facebook more popular than all Arab newspapers 26, May 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Kuwait, Middle East.
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The BBC reports that Facebook now has some 15 million subscribers across the Arab world; a million more than all newspapers – Arabic, English and French – put together. This is, of course, no great surprise. Not only is the standard of Middle Eastern journalism fairly abysmal [as I’ve argued here, here, here and here] but given the youth bulge in many Middle Eastern societies not to mention the generally closed-off nature of civil society and other forms of expression, meeting, etc, and Facebook is tailor-made for the region.

This kind of growth will be perturbing some of the region’s less enlightened governments. Only yesterday Kuwait announced that it was going to ban BlackBerry messenger in a valiantly pointless attempt to stand in the way of an ever increasingly technology dependent and technologically savvy population. It will only be a matter of time, I’d have thought, before some Sheikh or other in the GCC or some enthroned dictatorially democratic leader in the rest of the Middle East decides that Facebook ought to be wholly banned. Much luck to them.

Hat hip: MEI Editor

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