New Media-New Algerian Arab Spring?
The paper presents the events in Algeria that led to the fall of Abd al-Aziz Bouteflika, the long-term president of the country, in April 2019 and examines the role of the new media in this process. The analysis explains the reasons for the failure of the Arab Spring in this country in 2011. Critical discourse analysis of Algerian new media conducted by the author shows that despite a lack of active actions in 2011, youth movements appeared in Algeria and led the protests in 2019 not only on the Internet but also in the "offline" world. Currently, the discussion about political impact of new media focuses mainly on the question whether the power of protesting societies is sufficient to overthrow a government. According to the author of the paper, the above formulation of the problem reflects a single-dimensional ap-proach thereto, which has been proven by the example of Algeria. New media have become an integral part of contemporary societies and their discourse started to serve as a platform for, mobilizing and participating and disseminating information. In Algeria, despite the fact that social media "have not yet reached maturity" (among others, because of illiteracy, mis-management, a lack of freedom of speech or true democracy), they are gradually becoming political and start constituting public spaces for those excluded from the mainstream politics and media. The social media have caused a situation wherein the Algerian government has to meet growing demands of society for a greater degree of democracy, justice and freedom of the press and freedom of opinion. With their help, people learned the techniques of social mobilization, developed structures of social movement and civil society. The effects of this ac-tivity are gradually becoming noticeable not only in Algeria but throughout the Arab world.(original abstract)
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