The new and social media in Morocco

Authored by: Aziz Douai , Mohamed Ben Moussa

Routledge Handbook on Arab Media

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138385481
eBook ISBN: 9780429427084
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429427084-30

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Abstract

This chapter provides a comprehensive outlook on new media developments and discusses the complex historical, economic, and legal infrastructures underpinning the rise of networked activism and civil society in Morocco. The article examines Moroccan state’s liberalization policy underpinning successive “digital” plans over the last two decades that are meant to fast track the country into the era of the “information society.” We review recent case studies of social protest in the country to illuminate both the promise of and the obstacles facing digital activists in Morocco and the broader region. We address some persistent questions and doubts regarding the role of these digital tools in social transformation, as high levels of penetration and access to the Internet in the country have enabled the rise of a new wave of online activists seeking to mobilize the public on a variety of social issues. The Moroccan experience with the Internet in the last two decades thus sheds light on the dialectic between technology and society, as it reflects a tale of fast growth and stagnation, huge potential and disillusionment, and dominant conservative powers and continuous popular struggle.

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