Volume 3, Issue 3, May 2015, Page: 116-124
The Impact of Social Media Technologies on the Revolutions
Ahmed Al-Abdin, Hull University Business School, University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom
Robert Costello, Graduate School, University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom
Received: Jun. 5, 2015;       Accepted: Jun. 11, 2015;       Published: Jun. 25, 2015
DOI: 10.11648/j.hss.20150303.13      View  4227      Downloads  109
In this paper, we analyse the impact of social media technology on the Arab spring, and how individuals and communities used Schemata of Interpretation and Human Factor (cause, justification and emotions) to support the uprising throughout the Middle East. Social Media enabled activists from different regions to use technologies to share ideas and tactics, to inspire and engage protesters aspirations and to resonate from rural areas to gather at centrally located points push the momentum. Using social media the activists were able to distribute key messages for collective action and contribute to awareness and discussion from different political factions to create social anarchy, chaos, cultural imagery and symbolisms. By creating social anarchy activists can forge mutual friendship by individuals within the group through sharing belief and culture. The Causes & Technologies framework being presented here looks at the human factor and identifies key traits and themes that are necessary for Actors within the society to form necessary uprisings.
Uprising, Social Media, Activists, Arab Spring, Schemata of Interpretation, Human Factor
To cite this article
Ahmed Al-Abdin, Robert Costello, The Impact of Social Media Technologies on the Revolutions, Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2015, pp. 116-124. doi: 10.11648/j.hss.20150303.13
Abaza, M. (2013). Walls, Segregating Downtown Cairo and the Mohammed Mahmud Street Graffiti. Theory, Culture & Society, 30(1), 122-139.
AlJazeera. (2011). 'The Arab awakening, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain: A roundup of the popular protests that have swept the region over the last few months,' Available at : . (accessed 10/02/12).
Al-Olayan, F.S., & Karande, K. (2000). A content Analysis of Magazine Advertisements from the United States and the Arab World. Journal of Advertising, 29(3), 69-82.
Alqudsi-ghabra, T., (2011). Creative use of Social Media in the Revolutions of Tunisia, Egypt & Libya, International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp.147-158. 2011.
Al Shayji, A. (2012). ‘Fate of Arab Spring is key to people's future prospects,’ Available at: . (accessed 06/06/14).
Anderson, L. (2011). Demystifying the Arab spring: parsing the differences between Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Foreign Affairs, 90(3), 2-7.
Arendt, H. 2006 [1963]. On Revolution. London: Penguin Books.
Argyrou, V. (2013). The Gift of European Thought and the Cost of Living: Berghahn Books.
Bayoumy, Y. (2014). ‘Syria-Iraq 'caliph' incites Muslims to holy war,’ Available at: . (accessed 10/07/14).
Benford, D. R., & Snow, A. D. (2000). Framing Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 611-639.
Benmamoun, M., Kalliny, M., & Cropf, R.A. (2012). The Arab Spring, MNE's and virtual public spheres. Multinational Business Review, 20(1), 26-43.
Bilal, M. (2011). The Arab awakening, Available at: . (accessed 05/01/12).
Brahimi, A. (2011).Libya's Revolution. Journal of North African Studies, 16(4), 605-624.
Bremmer, I., (2010). The end of the free market: who wins the war between states and corporations? European View, Vol (9: 129), 2010. DOI 10.1007/s12290-010-0129-z, Centre for European Studies 2010.
Buechler, M. S. (2004). Chapter 3, Strain and breakdown theories, Edited by Snow, A. D., Soule, A. A., & Kriesi, H, The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, 2004.
Butt, G. (2011). Awaiting the Arab Summer. Energy and Geopolitical Risk, 2(4), 7-11.
Campante, F. R., & Chor, D. (2012).Why was the Arab World Poised for Revolution? Schooling, Economic Opportunities, and the Arab Spring. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 26(2), pp. 167-187.
Cavalluzzo, J. (2011). Egypt's Cultural Revolution. Social Policy, 41(4), 75-77.
Chomsky, N. (2013). ‘Arab Spring, Three Years on,’ Available at: . (accessed 10/12/13).
Eltantawy, N., & Wiest, B. J., (2011). The Arab Spring| Social Media in the Egyptian Revolution: Reconsidering Resource Mobilization Theory. International Journal of Communication, 5, 18.
Eltantawy, N., & Wiest, B. J., (2011)*. Social Media in the Egyptian Revolution: Reconsidering Resource Mobilization Theory
International Journal of Communication 5 (2011), Feature 1207-1224, 2011
Christensen, C. (2011). Twitter Revolutions? Addressing Social Media and Dissent
The Communication Review. Volume 14, Issue 3, 2011. 155-157.
Coetzee, E. (2013). Democracy, the Arab Spring and the Future (Great Powers) of International Politics: A Structural Realist Perspective. Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies, 40(2), 299-318.
Dalacoura, K. (2013). The Arab Uprisings Two Years On: Ideology, Sectarianism and the Changing Balance of Power in the Middle East. Insight Turkey, 15(1), 75-89.
Daou, F. (2011). The Arab uprisings and the new challenges for national social cohesion and Arab-West relations. Adyan CCE Conference at Louaizé, Lebanon. 2-3 June, 2011.
De Smet, B. (2014). Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Egypt. Science & Society, 78(1), 11-40.
Eyadat, Z. M. (2013). Fiqh Al-Aqalliyyât and the Arab Spring: Modern Islamic theorizing. Philosophy & Social Criticism, 39(8), 733-753.
Farinosi, M., & Trere, E. (2010). Inside the. “People of the Wheelbarrows”: Particioation between online and offline dimension in the post-quake social movement. The Journal of Community Informatics, 6(3), 2010.
Forstenlechner, I., Rutledge, E., & Alnuaimi, R. S. (2012). The UAE, the “Arab Spring” and Different Types of Dissent. Middle East Policy, 19(4), 54-67.
Friedman, G. (2011). ‘Re-examining the Arab Spring,’ Available at: . (accessed 12/01/13).
Gamson, A, W. (2004). Chapter 11, Bystanders, public opinion, and the media. Edited by Snow, A. D., Soule, A. A., & Kriesi, H, The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, 2004
Gelvin, J. L. (2012), “The Arab uprisings: what everyone needs to know,” New York, Oxford University Press.
Georgy, M. (2014). ‘Set to rule divided Egypt, Sisi faces biggest test,’ Available at: (accessed 18/07/14).
Ghannam, J. (2011). Social MEdia in the Arab World: Leading up to the Uprisings of 2011,
A Report to the Center for International Media Assistance. http://www.databank.com.lb/docs/Social%20Media%20in%20the%20Arab%20World%20Leading%20up%20to%20the%20Uprisings%20of%202011.pdf
Garrent, K. R. (2006). Protest in an Information Society: A Review of Literature on Social Movements and New ICTs. Information, Communication and Society, 9(2), 202-224.
Gillan, K. (2008). Understanding Meaning in Movements: A Hermeneutic Approach to Frames and Ideologies. Social Movement Studies, 7(3), 2008. 247-263
Girvan, M. & Newman, J. E. M. (2002). Community structure in social and biological networks, Applied Mathematics, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jun 11; 99(12): 7821–7826. doi: 10.1073/pnas.122653799
Guzansky, Y., & Berti, B. (2013). Is the New Middle East Stuck in Its Sectarian Past? The Unspoken Dimension of the “Arab Spring. Orbis, 57(1), 135-151.
Hall, C. (2007). ReRecognizing the Passion in Deliberation: Toward a More Democratic Theory of Deliberative Democracy. Hypatia, Vol 22, No. 4, Democratic Theory, Wiley, Hypatia, Inc.81-95,
Hara, N., & Huang, B-Y.(2013). Online Social Movements, Chapter 10, Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 45(1), 2013.
Hafedh, M., Akoum, A., Zbib, I.J., & Ahmed, Z.U. (2007) Iraq: Emergence of a new nation from the ashes. International Journal of Emerging Markets, 2(1), 7-21.
Hashemi, N. (2011). The Arab revolution of 2011: reflections on religion and politics. Insight Turkey, 13(2), 15-21.
Hess, S. (2013). From the Arab Spring to the Chinese Winter: The institutional sources of authoritarian vulnerability and resilience in Egypt, Tunisia, and China. International Political Science Review, 34(3), 254-272.
Housden, O. (2013).Egypt: Coup d'Etat or a Revolution Protected? RUSI Journal, 158(5). 72-78.
Howard, P.N., & Hussain, M.M. (2011). The upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia- The role of Social Media. Journal of Democracy, Vol. 22(3), 36-49.
Inayatullah, S. (2011). The Arab spring: what’s next. World Affairs, 15(3), p36-41.
Ismael, J. S., & Ismael, S. T. (2013). The Arab Spring and the uncivil state. Arab Studies Quarterly, 35(3), 229-240.
Joseph, S. (2012). Social media, political change and human rights. Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, 35(1), 145-188.
Kamrava, M. (2012). The Arab Spring and the Saudi-led counterrevolution. Foreign Policy Research Institute, 56(1), 96-104.
Khalife, N. (2011). 'Getting the vote could herald real change for Saudi women,' Available: . (accessed 22/11/11).
Klerks, P. (2001). The Network Paradigm Applied to Criminal Organisations:Theoretical nitpicking or a relevant doctrine for investigators? Recent developments in the Netherlands, Connections 24(3): 53-65, Insna.
Koopman, R. (2004). Chapter 2, Protest in Time and Space: The Evolution of Waves of Contention Edited by Snow, A. D., Soule, A. A., & Kriesi, H, The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, 2004.
Laessing, U. (2014). ‘Libyan militia tighten control of Tripoli Airport,’ Available at : . (accessed 18/07/14).
Landau, R. J. (1980). The role of semantic schemata in phobic word interpretation. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 4(4), 427-434.
Lim, M. (2012). Clicks, cabs, and coffee houses: Social media and oppositional movements in Egypt. Journal of Communication ISSN 0021-9916.
Lister, C. (2014). ‘Isis: What will militant group do next?’ Available at: (accessed 30/06/14).
Lynch, M. (2011). The big think behind the Arab Spring. Foreign Policy, 190, 46.
Massad, J. (2011), ‘The Arab Spring and other American Seasons,’ Available at: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/08/201282972539153865.html. (accessed 10/07/14).
Mohamed Ali, T. (2014). Post-political Transitions in Arab Spring Countries: The Challenges. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 109, pp. 250-256.
Nahapiet, J. & Ghoshal, S., (1998). Social Capital, Intellectual Capital, and the Organizational Advantage, The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 23, No. 2 (Apr., 1998). 242-266.
New Statesman. (2011), "The New Arab Revolt," Available at:
(accessed 06/06/15).
Noueihed, L., & Warren, A. (2012). The battle for the Arab spring: Revolution, counter revolution and the making of a new era: Yale University Press.
Nye, M. (2010). A life remembered: The voice and Passions of Feminist Writer and Community Activist Flora Kimball. University of California Press, Journals, Digital Publishing, California History, Vol. 87, No 4(2010). 48-65, 68-71.
Oliver, E. P., & Johnston, H. (2000). What a Good Idea! Frames and Ideologies in Social Movement Research. Mobilization, 4, 2000. 37–54.
Owais, R. (2011).Arab media during the Arab Spring in Egypt and Tunisia: Time for change. Middle East Media Educator, 1(1), 7-13.
Pace, M., & Cavatorta, F. (2012). The Arab Uprisings in Theoretical Perspective–An Introduction. Mediterranean Politics, 17(2), 125-138.
Petersen, M., Slothuus, R., Stubager, R., & Togeby, L., (2010). Freedom for All? The Strength and Limits of Political Tolerance. B.J.Pol.S.41, 581–597 Copyright Cambridge University Press, 2010
Rabindranath, M., & Kapil, S. (2015). Social Media and the Arab Spring. Media Watch, 6(1), 124-132.
Ray, T. (2011). The ‘story’ of digital excess in revolutions of the Arab Spring. Journal of Media Practice, 12(2), 189-196.
Rosenbaum, E. J. (1980). Social Implications of Educational Grouping, Review of Research in Education Vol. 8 (1980). 361-401.
Rucht, D. (2004). Chapter 9, Movement Allies, Adversaries, and Third Parties, Edited by Snow, A. D., Soule, A. A., & Kriesi, H, The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, 2004
Sakbani, M. (2011). The revolutions of the Arab Spring: are democracy, development and modernity at the gates? Contemporary Arab Affairs, 4(2), 127-147.
Sater, J. N. (2012).The Arab spring and democratization in Morocco. Orient, 53(1), 30-37.
Snider, E.A., & Faris, D.M. (2011). The Arab Spring: U.S. democracy promotion in Egypt. Middle East Policy, 18(3), 49-62.
Sorensen, D.S. (2011). Transitions in the Arab World Spring or Fall? Strategic Studies Quarterly, Fall 2011, 22-49.
Stewart, D. (2005). Social Status in an Open-Source Community, American Sociological Review, American Sociological Review October 2005 vol. 70 no. 5 823-842
Sultan, N. (2013).Al Jazeera: Reflections on the Arab Spring. Journal of Arabian Studies, 3(2), 249-264.
Tadros, M. (2012). Introduction: the pulse of the Arab revolt. IDS Bulletin, 43(1), 1-15.
Wertsch, V. James., & Roediger, L. H. (2008). Collective memory: Conceptual foundations and theoretical approaches, Memory, 16(3), 318-326.
Zunes, S. (2014). ‘Regime Repression and Paranoia Grows in Egypt,’ Available at: . (accessed 06/06/14).
Browse journals by subject