Twitter has reportedly been at the center of facilitating communications between administrators and citizens in Oman’s monarchy.
The Dubai School of Government carried out a study between 2010 and 2011 whose results revealed that revolutionary conversations often happen on online platforms ahead of most mass protests that have taken place in the past. The research findings also revealed that social media platforms like Twitter have been critical in determining how political events unfold. The people of Oman have particularly been keen on taking advantage of all that Twitter has to offer, ever since they discovered its potential.
The Omani administration seems to have also noticed that the country’s people have been takin to Twitters’ microblogging platform to air out their grievances. The administration also sees to be taking the platform very seriously as a place where forums can be held to identify problems for which the government can then offer solutions.
A good example of this is when Omani citizens took to Twitter to complain about the lack of jobs. The hashtag ‘we need a job’ was created by the youth and Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Sultan of Oman happened to have come across it. The administration announced the creation of 25,000 new jobs not long after that.
The digitization of the Omani government has also played a key part in the progress that the country has made so far thanks to Twitter. For example, complaining about the lack of a service is so much easier when done through Twitter. Every municipal department is active on Twitter, and citizens are encouraged to use the platform to air out their grievances whether it is something as small as garbage collection or something big that would take time if they went to the municipal office. It has particularly been an important platform for women to be heard.
“I think that one of the good things about Twitter is flexibility…our culture does not appreciate women going to government organizations. With Twitter, women can communicate with us without having to leave home,” stated one of the people who participated in the survey.
Women would otherwise be uncomfortable with visiting the government office to air out their grievances and such processes are usually slow and tedious. Twitter thus makes it so much easier for them to pass across the desired message without a struggle.