Syria has long been a land where censorship dominates the press, media and the Internet. Many books, TV shows, and websites are not allowed, especially those of opposing political groups such the Muslim Brotherhood (York, 2011; Middle East Watch, 1991). During the Syrian uprising in 2011, the regime as well as activists relied on the Internet to spread their narratives of what Syria was going through, which transformed the Internet into a contested political arena. The regime’s old censorship tactics proved unsuccessful in curbing the dominance of national and international media via TV and the Internet. While activists used the Internet to inform, the regime used it to control. Both parties targeted different audiences for completely different purposes. This paper will address how cyber censorship in Syria promoted the regime’s narrative about the uprising. It will identify the target of both narratives and situate online discourse within the larger historical and political contexts. I will address how regime exploits the internet as an authoritative, punitive tool not only to control the news about the atrocities it committed but also to maintain and mainstream consistent propaganda that primarily targeted its supporters. While the regime used the Internet and media to target primarily its loyalists, activists posted videos of attacks on protestors hoping that the world would hear their voices. It is as if the two parties spoke different languages in the same society and country.
|Communication and Media Studies
|December 1, 2021
|June 18, 2021
|Published in Issue
|Year 2021 Volume: 7 Issue: 2