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We’ve got our eye on you—Corruption in the Gulf

We’ve got our eye on you—Corruption in the Gulf

The region’s recent unrest has seen corruption as the key complaint. How has this been shown in the digital world? Kipp’s sister magazine Trends and Fisheye Analytics investigate.

August 22, 2011 12:36 by

…maintaining a clean-cut international image is Saudi women’s attempts at getting the ban on women driving in the Kingdom lifted.


On May 19, Saudi citizen Manal El-Sherif posted a video of herself driving and urged women to take the wheel on the streets of the Kingdom on June 17 in her Women2Drive campaign. Her subsequent arrest sparked a viral discussion online that has had an impact beyond the Middle East. What makes this protest different from a similar movement by Saudi women in 1990 is the far-reaching voice of social media today. Fisheye Analytics calculated the total social media impact or virality of all posts on this topic, that is, all blog comments, Facebook shares, likes and comments and all Twitter replies and retweets.

The total score of 100,817 rivals the total virality of the worldwide bribery scandal that has been rocking FIFA (and Qatar). The campaign’s reach was amplified by the presence of online platforms such as Facebook, that rallied support around the world. By May 23, 600,000 people had watched the original video. It even touched Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey. Joining in Saudi women’s struggle to date are more than 44 people who have posted “Honk for Saudi Women’ videos on YouTube, and nearly 100,000 men and women have signed the petition for Saudi women driving on

The Arab world’s focus is squarely on corruption today. Bureaucrats and politicians do not need any more reminders of how downstream effects of corruption – inequality and injustice – can adversely impact their nation’s well-being, but with the power that new media puts into the average citizen’s hands, managing their nation’s overseas reputations is an increasingly complex task. It remains to be seen if there will be an ‘Arab Summer’ but to keep abreast of the man on the street, one simply has to take a deep dive online.

Disclosure: Fisheye Analytics is represented in the Mena region by dotmena, a Mediaquest company, the publishers of TRENDS magazine).


How many times is any single online article shared, liked and commented on in social sharing channels such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Google Buzz and tweeted and retweeted on Twitter? This measure of virality is called Social Media Impact. It is the most cutting-edge measure of how important any piece of news or blog post is. For example, the BBC’s article on the Women2Drive campaign published the day after the event on June 18 garnered just over 4,500 social media responses in three days. The announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s capture and killing on Al Jazeera’s English site has garnered more than 50,987 responses – clearly the more relevant and important article in the eyes of the public. Fisheye Analytics is the only media intelligence company worldwide that is able to detect the digital footprint of every article in this way.

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  1. Malek Moubasher on August 22, 2011 11:35 pm

    i cheeked the website of the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, Qatar is ranked 19, UAE 28 and KSA 50

    Kipp !!

  2. p.deleon on August 23, 2011 8:42 am

    Hi Malek, thanks for the heads up! We paid a second visit to the Index and have made the necessary corrections…


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