So­cial Me­dia Rul­ing

ArabAd - - LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER -

Sel­dom has con­tem­po­rary his­tory wit­nessed abuse as that has been in­flicted on the word democ­racy.

In fact it has rarely been adopted as a reg­u­la­tor of gov­er­nance and a mir­ror of the rule of the peo­ple.

Most dic­ta­tor­ships have in­tro­duced the magic word into the name of their coun­tries. And on record most of hu­man per­se­cu­tion, au­toc­racy even mas­sacres were car­ried out in the name of democ­racy. Granted no sys­tem, in prac­tice, can boast 100 per­cent ad­her­ence to its prin­ci­ples. How­ever, per­cep­tion is rel­a­tive. The Arab rul­ing class hates the ex­pres­sion al­to­gether as an im­pe­ri­al­ist plot. The ba­sics of democ­racy, if we move from gov­ern­ment sys­tems, is of course, free­dom of speech. Le­banon, for ex­am­ple, that prided it­self with be­ing an oa­sis of free­dom has for the past few years started to tighten the screws on the me­dia in gen­eral and in the ab­sence of mod­ern laws that gov­ern free­dom of ex­pres­sion with the spread of new tech­nol­ogy it has got­ten worse. The tragedy is that the au­thor­i­ties are try­ing to muz­zle the dy­namic and vi­brant me­dia and all the en­su­ing ad­vances, thanks to tech­nol­ogy, through ar­chaic laws that in fact make con­trol of so­cial me­dia a mis­sion im­pos­si­ble.

Lately such mea­sures have reached an alarm­ing level that threat­ens the ba­sic right and duty of free­dom of ex­pres­sion that the Le­banese have main­tained right through wars, oc­cu­pa­tion and the plethora of up­heavals. It’s time for a gen­uine ef­fort for all me­dia sec­tors to give this is­sue the im­por­tance it de­serves and launch a united front to con­front the loom­ing op­pres­sive mea­sures. Au­thor­i­ties are at­tack­ing free­dom of the press in Le­banon on ex­ag­ger­ated ques­tion­able al­le­ga­tions and get­ting away with it in the ab­sence of a bold stand by the me­dia.

The me­dia should re­lin­quish all dif­fer­ences and treat this dan­ger as a col­lec­tive pun­ish­ment aimed at bring­ing any dis­sent to a stand­still. Time is run­ning out, and if we don’t take the bull by the horns im­me­di­ately, the regime, and any regime, for that mat­ter, will be cel­e­brat­ing with fire works.

Cover De­sign by Arabad de­sign de­part­ment

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