Beehive is a product of the Doron Halpern Middle East Network Analysis Desk (MENAD), which studies noteworthy trends on Arab, Turkish, and Iranian social media. Beehive positions these trends within a broader context and provides an up-to-date perspective on issues that are being actively discussed by the people of the region. Advanced tools allow the Center's researchers to focus only on discussions that are significant in terms of their duration as well as the number of participants. It is edited by Dr. Harel Chorev-Halewa, Smadar Shaul, and Sarah Jacobs.
Beehive: Middle East Social Media
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We are proud to present the May 2014 issue of Beehive: Middle East Social Media.
The articles in this issue illustrate the importance of social networks (SNS) as an arena for driving political and social processes in the Middle East. In the last month, Farsi-language SNS conducted a successful online campaign for the release of five Iranian soldiers who were kidnapped by a Balochi organization, while Turkish networks reflect increasing political polarization in light of the municipal elections and the state’s decision to block access to Twitter and YouTube.
The first article in this issue deals with the decision of Erdogan to block access for Turkish Twitter users, as part of his ongoing attempts to clamp down on internet usage following recent embarrassing leaks that have damaged his regime. The second article deals with the persecution of Sufi orders in Iran by the orthodox establishment of the regime, and the online response to a street demonstration by Sufis in Iran. The last article deals with images from the Syrian civil war, and in particular those of suffering children, which have been circulated on social networks.
The essays in this current issue illustrate the importance of social networks as a platform for critical discourse. In addition to a critical discussion on social media networks among Persian speakers regarding the behavior of citizens during events surrounding the annual day commemorating the revolution, in Turkey an interesting dynamic emerged regarding the struggle for "free browsing" of the internet, following PM Erdogan's latest moves to restrict and control such browsing.
The present issue opens with a unique perspective on the protest songs relating to the civil war in Syria, that are being uploaded to Arab SNS, and examines the changes in the struggle since the war began in March 2011. Two additional articles deal with issues that have the potential to be politically volatile in the foreseeable future: on Farsi networks, the conflict over remembering the events of 2009 in Iran and their heritage, and, the possibility of turning the Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul into a mosque, on Turkish SNS.
We are happy to present the December issue of Beehive. In addition to articles on Arabic and Turkish social networks, we will now include analysis of the discourse on Persian-language social media, mostly dealing with Iran. The present issue deals with the debate surrounding the draft Charter on Civil Rights recently published by Iranian President Rouhani and the struggle over water in Khorasan province. We also consider the discourse in in Turkey around recently exposed corruption, and the struggle between the ruling AKP party and the Gülenist movement, formerly a pillar of the Erdoğan regime. Finally, we review the lively discussion taking place in the Persian Gulf region as Oman moves closer to Iran.
In the December 2013 issue of Beehive: Middle East Social Media, Hay Cohen Yanarocak investigates the polemic between secular and conservative forces on Turkish social media, while Ceng Sagnic examines the collective memory of the Kurdish Civil War on SNS.
In this issue of Beehive: Middle East Social Media, Women in Saudi Arabia and Sexual Harassment in Egypt and Environmental Struggles, Soccer and Politics Meet on SNS in Turkey.