Facebook Use Soars in Arab World - Page 2
It concludes that a high internet penetration rate (such as the UAE with 75 per cent, or Bahrain with 53 per cent) does not necessarily indicate a similarly high Facebook penetration rate. Saudi Arabia has an internet penetration rate of 38 per cent and a Facebook rate of 12.24 per cent, while Oman’s figures are 51.5 and 7.55 per cent respectively.
"This may indicate social and cultural barriers to using the site, which shares personal information with others," the Dubai newspaper Gulf News noted.
The popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt have demonstrated the power of platforms like Facebook and Twitter in organizing social and civil movements in the Middle East and North Africa.
Fadi Salem, Fellow and Director of the Governance and Innovation Program at the Dubai School of Government, said: "It is no coincidence that Tunisia witnessed an 8% sudden surge in the number of Facebook users during the first two weeks of January 2011, coupled with a shift in the usage trend from merely social in nature into primarily political."