Comment: The Lebanese Uprising in the Digital Age

Author(s) Karim Merhej, Elina Qureshi
Contact Karim Merhej, American University of Beirut, P.O. Box 11-0236, Riad El Solh, Beirut, Lebanon. E-mail:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 14, Iss. 2, 2020, pp. 85-98
Published December 15, 2020
Type Comment
Abstract On October 17, 2019, following the announcement of a tax to be placed on calls made via the mobile communication application WhatsApp, thousands of Lebanese citizens took to the streets to protest against this arbitrary decision. The protest quickly morphed into a country-wide uprising in which citizens from all walks of life participated. Digital technologies were heavily used by both protesters and counter-revolutionary forces. This descriptive commentary piece will seek to shed light on how the former used digital technologies in ingenious ways to further the cause of the uprising while the latter used them to break the uprising’s momentum, with the hope that such a piece can pave the way for further research on the intersection of social movements, technology, and counter-revolutionary tactics.
Keywords social media, activism, cyberactivism, Lebanon, social movements, counter-revolution