The influence of social media on conflict: the case of the Maghreb countries in North Africa
Information and communication technology is a phenomenon meant to enhance and improve on the quality of human life. Nonetheless, social media has not only brought development but also other social evils such as cybercrime and cyberactivism mostly on the negative. It is with this background that this study seeks to establish the influence of social media during and after the conflict in Maghreb Countries in North Africa, analyse the influence of social media in conflict and assess state response to social media during the Arab Spring between December 2010 and end of 2012. Social media, as a source of information and entertainment; where not well managed has been used to inflict and cause pain to the very people it is meant to serve. The fact that it obeys no boundary jurisdiction, participation and contribution to any debate is usually a global affair. The study utilizes secondary data by intensively collecting, reviewing and analyzing published texts from books, internet, magazines, journals, newspaper articles, periodicals and any other reliable information to ascertain the role social media played during the height of conflict in the Maghreb countries in North Africa. Through the use of social sites such as twitter, facebook, SMSs among others and disseminating the same as a user generated content (UGC), citizen journalism has been a source of information, part of which is biased and extremely inciting leading to conflict. The study established that the borderless social media is a very critical tool to organize and mobilize movements and protests even from the Diaspora more especially because it is real time. Social media was very key in providing leadership and managerial infrastructure during the crisis besides creating awareness of the happenings both locally and internationally.