Arab bloggers discuss democracy at Tunisia conference
Hundreds of bloggers from across the Arab world gathered in Tunisia Monday to discuss the role of cyberactivism in in countries that are making the transition to democracy.
The conference, which runs through Thursday, is the third such gathering of Arab bloggers since 2008 but the first since the ongoing Arab Spring of revolutions began in Tunisia last December, DPA reported.
Since then three Arab leaders - Tunisia's Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi - have been ousted through street protests or, in Libya's case, an armed insurrection.
Tunisian website Nawaat, which is organizing the conference, said the first day of the four-day event would address issues like "IT policies; digital activism; the role of social media in a transitional democracy; why the revolution has succeeded in Tunisia and Egypt and struggled and stalled elsewhere; and other issues."
In one session, a group of bloggers from across North Africa, the Middle East and Gulf will discuss the use of Twitter as a loudhailer for revolutions.
Another session will look at the role of Wikileaks - and the associated Tunisian site Tunileaks which published US diplomatic cables relating to that country - in fomenting the revolutions.
The meeting comes amid speculation that this year's Nobel Peace Prize could go to a blogger from an Arab Spring country.
Tunisian blogger Lina Ben Mhenni, who blogged about her country's Jasmine Revolution, and Egyptian Google executive Wael Ghonim, who was detained by police for 11 days for founding a website in support of his country's revolution, have been cited as possible candidates for the prize.
The winner of the prize is to be announced Friday in Stockholm.