How social media trends hold mirror to the society

Twitter trends express a lot about a society, and each society has its own trends

Turki Aldakhil

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Hashtags trending on Twitter express a lot about a society and each society has its own trends. A photo clarifying Saudi Twitter trends and Western society’s trends has recently been circulated.

The difference is clear between racist hashtags against an area or a tribe, and hashtags that discuss various issues. The percentage of those benefitting from Twitter has decreased, considering the disadvantages that are resulting from it.

Saudi daily Al-Jazirah’s cultural section recently published the results of a study that showed that more than 6,000 Twitter accounts are directed at inciting strife among Saudis. It also showed that 4,000 other Twitter accounts retweet what those 6,000 accounts post.

The study monitored accounts that systematically publish 90 tweets per minute that harm the kingdom. That is 130,000 harmful tweets per day.

Twitter has become a reflection of our own diseases

Turki Aldakhil

Good and bad

Twitter, this exceptional platform in the field of personal expression, has taken on other dimensions that we were not familiar with in the past. I joined Twitter about seven years ago. The bad has risen to exceed the good, and this is due to the prevailing culture. Twitter has become a reflection of our own diseases.

We are new to the era of technology, but we must look at our bigger mistakes as Twitter has become an arena for racism, rejection, elimination and terrorism. Contemplate Twitter trends, then ask what cultural development we have achieved.

This article was first published in Okaz on Jun. 12, 2016.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

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