Academic journal article American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal

The Effect of the Information Management Policy on the Growth of the Digital Economy: The Case of the Arab Spring

Academic journal article American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal

The Effect of the Information Management Policy on the Growth of the Digital Economy: The Case of the Arab Spring

Article excerpt

Abstract. This document will focus on identifying the effect of the formal Information Management policies during and after the political uprisings on the growth indicators of the digital economy, the research will study the Arab Spring case and the reformed Arab countries. The study aims to suggest strategic guidelines to support the governments of the Arab Spring with their new reformation plans regarding the digital economy as part of the whole economic reformation that emerged from the recent states changes; the goal is to propose ideas to align these information management strategies with the predefined goals of the Arab Spring uprisings to ensure that the nations requirements, especially the economic ones, from the new states are met.

Keywords: Arab Spring, Arab Digital Economy, Arab E-Commerce, E-Commerce Strategies.

(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)

1 INTRODUCTION

It's with no doubt that the latest political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the event that was formally named as "The Arab Spring", did rise from the built frustration over the years due to the slow development rates, which caused recession in the living standards of the population, and it was of no surprise that the participation of the Tunisian citizens in the uprising demonstrations extended rapidly after the incident of Mohammed Bouazizi accident , Bouazizi was a fruit vendor who set himself ablaze to protest the police corruption, an event that stoked the revolution. Soon after this accident, there was another scene for the Tunisian revolution; this scene was the internet community. According to LOTAN et al. (2011), between the periods of 12-19 January, 2011, there were almost 168,663 tweets posted on twitter related to Tunisian uprising, containing the words #sidibouzid" or "tunisia" initiated by 39,696 different users. YouTube also played a significant role in covering the Tunisian uprising, by January, 18, 2011 Over 30,000 videos were placed on YouTube tagged "Sidi Bouzid.", which was the city where mohammed Bouazizi set himself ablaze(Howard, 2011). The Egyptian online protests started soon after the Tunisian uprising, the starting point was through an organised protest in the 25th of January, 2011, the date of the national police day, the purpose of this protest was to object against the abuse from police and other economic situations related to corruption and unemployment as well,( LOTAN et al. 2011). The stimulating accident to this protest was a Facebook fan page named" We are all Khalid Said" which was created in June, 2010 to expose the brutal killing of an Egyptian citizen named "Khalid Said" at the hands of some police men in Egypt, moreover, the Egyptian uprising took various online aspects due to the past practice of expression using the different online expression tools such as blogs, online video channels, social media, and email channels (Saleh, 2012).

The internet power continued to extend during the uprising period, for example, the number of Facebook users in Egypt increased from 4.7 million users to 6.65 million between January and April, 2011(Mubarak, 2011) to the extent that some activists named the Egyptian revolution as "the Facebook Revolution").

In Syria, despite the Cyberactivism in the political transformation that included different sorts of online censorship and legal consequences for anti regime online activities, YouTube videos that targeted the political and battles in Syria flooded the internet by July, 2011(Khamis, Gold, & Vaughn 2012).

Realizing the mobilization power of these online social tools, the regimes in the Arab Spring countries tried to overcome the capacity of the cyberactivism, for example the Egyptian regime decided to shut down the internet service between the periods of 25th January, to 2nd of February, 2011 in an attempt to stop the spread of anti regime media among the population (Tufekci, &Wilson, 2012), while online activists in Syria as well as in some other countries were subject to investigation and torturing to force them to expose their online accounts, such as Facebook and Skype ( Reporters without Borders, 2012) , in addition to other repressive strategies against the internet usage that were adopted by the Arab Spring countries in Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen, during and before the uprisings. …

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