JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Saturday 18 May 2013
Most Twitters users in Saudi Arabia are interested in local issues, particularly corruption cases, according to a study conducted last year.
The study was produced by Reem Ali Al-Saudi, a writer at Al-Eqtisadiah, a sister publication of Arab News, as part of her master’s degree project in digital media at King Saud University.
The study was carried out in February 2012 with 5,347 participants of various ages and from different education, economic and social sectors representing the Twitter community in Saudi Arabia. They answered a series of questions on their use of Twitter, in relation to several local issues.
Users in the Kingdom said they joined Twitter to follow current news events and debates. They also want to exchange opinions and discuss important issues. They regard Twitter as a platform to have a free and open exchange of opinions with users all over the world.
Even though users see Twitter as a good source of news, they have sufficient awareness and are cautious about relying on it as an adequate source of information about culture and general knowledge.
A total of 67.4 percent of the respondents said they are fairly satisfied with the nature of the ongoing dialogues, 67.8 percent are satisfied with the overall level of freedom on Twitter, and 60.9 percent believe that users started to express their opinions and views more boldly following the Arab Spring events in the Middle East.
According to recent statistics, Saudis are the fastest growing group on the social networking website, with an estimated 300 percent rise in users recently. Saudi Arabia has more than 3 million active Twitter users tweeting 50 million tweets per month.