• "Jordan Unrest: Did Royal Twittering Absorb Some of the Anger?"

    Hania A.M. Nashef (see profile)
    LLC Arabic
    Mass media--Study and teaching
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    arab world, Jordan, Social Media, mass communications, Media studies
    Permanent URL:
    Shafiiq Rushaydaat Street, commonly known as University Street, in the northern Jordanian city of Irbid is recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as having the world’s largest number of Internet cafés in one square kilometer. Because of the proliferation of computers and Internet service providers, Jordan by the 1990s was one of the leading countries in the Arab world in connectivity, according to Jihan Buhjat Hadad and Dr. Mohammed S. Shunnaq (2009). Hadad and Shunnaq add that the Royal Scientific Association, through its Information System Center, helped in spreading the use of computers within Jordanian society. Therefore, the government traditionally has encouraged Internet use through a conscious effort to make the service available to all Jordanians. According to OpenNet (2009), Jordan’s Internet “remains largely unfettered, with filtering applied to a single news Web site that is often critical of the Jordanian and other Arab regimes.” However, the OpenNet article rightly lists inconsistencies in the kingdom’s policies often applied to the Internet. The Internet today remains under government control, which successive administrations have manipulated to their advantage, sometimes providing leniency while at other times withdrawing freedoms when they felt a need to curb criticism or dissent. Changes in the 2007 Jordanian press law brought online publications “under the same law as the written press” (CIMA, n.d.). Social media sites in Jordan, on the other hand, have been encouraged; the royal family being one of their first users and most ardent supporters.
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