Social media and ICT during the Arab Spring


  • David Lindahl
  • Magdalena Granåsen
  • Mikael Eriksson
  • Ulrik Franke

Publish date: 2013-09-09

Report number: FOI-R--3702--SE

Pages: 43

Written in: English


  • Arab Spring
  • Internet
  • Social media
  • cyber war
  • distributed Command
  • and Control
  • Surveillance
  • Privacy


During the so called Arab spring, activists made extensive use of openly available technical tools such as Facebook to organize and fight the regimes. The regimes in their turn took various actions to keep the activists from communicating with each other and with foreign media. This report gives examples of incidents and discusses how technology was used in various cases. The conclusion is that the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) in some cases was a force multiplier for the opposition, but that it was not the cause of the uprisings.