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n African Journal of Rhetoric - Irregular border crossing : social media and the globalization of the 'Arab Spring'

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1998-2054

Abstract

The Arab Spring started on December 17, 2010 when a street vendor in Tunisia incinerated himself on account of harassment by city managers. This triggered similar protests in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa (Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain) and gave impetus to some other protests around the world. In the Middle East and North African (MENA) region, the protests led to the collapse of three key regimes. In terms of this domino effect on the international system this paper presents the phenomenon as a global border security question. It is a case of irregular border crossing of ideas made possible by social media, most especially Twitter and Facebook, used by the protesters in the affected countries. The lesson of it all is that those responsible for border security must now look beyond the physical space in protecting 'state sovereignty'. They must also come to terms with the fact that it is far more difficult to police border crossing of ideas than of people and goods as the extensive filtering of web content, blocking of opposition websites, and revocation of press licences of opposition media during the Arab Spring in the MENA region did not produce the desired results.

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/content/aar_rhetoric/5/1/EJC150321
2013-01-01
2019-10-19

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