The Center for Strategic Studies (CSS) at the University of Jordan (UJ) organized a two-day forum early this week to discuss the role of social media in politics.
The forum was organized in cooperation with the Canal France International (CFI) - the French media development agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development - in the framework of the "EU Support to Jordanian Democratic Institution & Development" (EU-JDID) project.
The forum discussed 6 main subjects: forms of political interaction on social media, framing of political discussion, youth political awareness raising, use of social media during elections, use of social media to better inform citizens and monitor political activities, and ways to help citizens better use social media.
Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs Musa Maayteh opened the event.
During the opening ceremony, Maayteh referred to the power of social media in society and the use of social media in political campaigns.
Maayteh explained that the evolution of modern media technology as a whole is a positive development for what it has contributed to raising the level of freedom of opinion and expression.
Maayteh also referred to the negative effect of social media on politics, such as the spread of hate speech and circulation of misleading information.
CSS Director Prof. Musa Shteiwi said the forum provides a platform for dialogue between journalists and activists on the one hand and politicians and experts on the other. He added that it also involved media students from various Jordanian universities.
According to Shteiwi, today, social networking services of all types are within reach of a wide range of citizens.
Shteiwi said that Statistics for 2018 show that 80% of Jordanians use smart phones.
According to the results of the Arab Barometer study conducted by the Center by the end of October 2018, 79% of those aged 18 years and over use the Internet. Of those, 78% said they use Facebook, 8% use Twitter, 20% use the internet, and 38% use YouTube.