Social Media and Social Mobility: Exploring the Role of Social Networks in the 2018 Boycott Campaign in Morocco
Social networks have been resorted to as effective platforms for social mobility in many parts of the world. This mobility occurs when social media users exploit their interpersonal relationships, especially their ‘weak ties’ (Granovetter, 1973). Social networks enable their users to be producers of information, rather than mere consumers, and to be socially and politically well-informed. They have come to function as the alternative media serving citizens rather than governments’ agendas. The paper investigates whether or not social networks are used for social and political mobility in Morocco. Practically, the boycott campaign 2018 in Morocco is considered to uncover the new services these networks are offering. All these issues are investigated in this paper through administering a survey questionnaire to a Moroccan population. A quantitative and a qualitative analysis of 112 questionnaires show that the majority of the participants not only follow social and political content on social media but also share, post, and re-tweet content. The paper indicates that social media are useful platforms for political and social mobility since they are risk-free, costless, and accessible by everybody. The participants do not deny the outstanding roles that social networks play in organizing campaigns as forms of social mobility, yet they do not consider social media a prerequisite for making such events a success because the world has been witnessing successful mass street protests wherein no use of social media platforms has been mentioned.