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The Arab Spring and Online Protests in Iraq

Author: Ahmed Al-Rawi

In: International Journal of Communications, Vol 8, 2014, pp. 916-942

This article elaborates on earlier protests before 2019, focusing on 2011 and noting 'dozens of protests' (which crossed sectarian lines) against political corruption and calling for revolution at Tahrir Square, Baghdad, between February 12 and the 'day of rage' on  February 25 2011. On this day the government of Nouri Maliki shut down media coverage, accusing the protesters of being followers of the banned Baath Party of Saddam Hussein or supporters of Al Qaeda. On February 25 2011, 30 demonstrators were killed by security services and many injured. But the main focus of the article is on the use of Facebook and You Tube to publicize, comment on and justify the protests. The blogs and comments studied were predominantly by young men, including some in the US and Canada.