Proceedings of The 5th International Academic Conference on Research in Social Sciences
Palestinian Youth Engagement with Online Political Contents Shared by “Citizen Journalists”. “The Case of Save Sheikh Jarrah”
The initial research on online political activism revealed that new information and communication technologies (ICTs) have increasingly become a supportive space for political participation and have influenced the conception of political activism. Furthermore, ICTs have become a facilitator for the formation of online political networks and communities. The shocking images of young children killed in the latest genocidal onslaught by Israel against Gaza in 2021 and the clashes that broke out in Sheikh Jarrah and Al Aqsa Mosque dominated the global news and online media platforms. Online political activists, such as Muna Al Kurd, who represents the phenomenon of “citizen journalism” in Palestine, took to the internet and social media channels to freely express their discontentment through sharing pictures and videos about the un-humanitarian war and sharing their political activism. This paper aims to map the Palestinian youth engagement with online political content disseminated by Muna Al Kurd in her Instagram account, by employing an empirical approach using the quantitative research method to collect primary data. Muna Al Kurd’s Instagram account has 1.6 billion followers. An online survey, in Arabic language, was conducted following the simple random sampling technique, targeting 100 educated and technologically savvy Palestinian youth respondents between the ages of 18-29. The data collected was used to examine and address specific research questions related to what information sources the youth use for political information and to what extend they rely on social media platforms belonging to citizen journalists. The study concludes that youth participate in many online activities and rely on social media platforms for information; their interests and knowledge of politics are growing; the youth in Palestine (18-29 years old) are highly interested in political matters and somehow moderate when it comes to participation in online political discussions.
keywords: online activism, political participation, citizen journalism, social media platform.