NUQ survey: Less than 50% of Arabs feel safe expressing political views
In a new survey released by the Northwestern University in Qatar, a majority of the participants from the Arab World didn’t feel comfortable expressing their views about politics, both online and otherwise.
The study – titled “Media Use in the Middle East – An Eight-Nation Survey” was conducted to understand internet and other media usage among people in the region particularly in Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and United Arab Emirates.
According to the findings, 47% think it is safe to express political opinions on internet; 46% think individuals are free to criticise governments online; while 38% fear that higher authorities monitor their activities online.
The report says, “The implied concern (of governments checking what they do online) is fairly consistent in almost all countries covered, but more acute in Saudi Arabia, where the majority (53%) of those surveyed expressed this concern.”
As per the survey result, Qatar has the second highest percentage of people using the internet (86%), after UAE’s 91%. In terms of accessing the internet through wireless handheld devices, respondents from Qatar spent the maximum number of hours doing so per week – 23hrs, followed by Lebanon’s 20hrs per week. Qatar also had the highest percentage of people (85%) who considered the internet as an important source for news and current events.
The detailed findings of the survey can be viewed here.