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Will Whatsapp live on in Saudi Arabia?

Badria al-Bishr

Published: Updated:

You cannot begin to understand a society unless you live in it.

But Saudi Arabia society, like all other conservative societies maintains a protective shell that conceals it from the world.

It resolutely denies anything not in keeping with its values and claims that it is an exclusive dominion.

This ability to deny and keep things secret has led to a state of individual and social schizophrenia.

Both ended up with two images, one public, and one private. In reality, it is difficult to know which to believe.

When social networking means spread, we were put in a difficult situation.

But, as we have two characters, which character is the most affected by this? The real one or the fake one?

The difference between Twitter and Whatsapp

Twitter created armies and an environment to spread falsehoods.

On the other hand, Whatsapp has provided a narrower circle when it comes to dealing with people.

People meet through exchanging jokes, news, rumors, stories and gossip. It has even become a space for speculating the outcome in political situations.

Whatsapp has become highly popular despite some negative aspects. The first thing that Saudi society revealed through Whatsapp is its sense of humor, an image that contrasts a deeply gloomy and insular image that some of us project.

Gossiping

People used Whatsapp to fight their personal battles and air their opinions. Young men mocked young women fond of fashion. Young women responded and mocked men picturing them as rough desert animals compared to men of the world.

Men use whatsapp to check the football results, and increases in prices. Women limit their interests to two subjects: religion and sex.

The worst of what Saudis exchange via Whatsapp is exaggerated news: fake statements and erroneous gossip. Some pieces of news even have headlines that contradict with the text. And many believe the title without reading the text. Spreading a lie takes a minute, but a lifetime may not be long enough to rectify mistakes.

The Communication and Information Technology Commission in Saudi Arabia is threatening not only to supervise the network but also benefit from profits. These regulations will not prevent people from expressing themselves. Despite the consequences, they will continue to express themselves even if they make mistakes.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.