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The Emergence of Social Media & the Political Crisis in Pakistan
Unformatted Document Text:  Social media & political crisis in Pakistan 22 Whatever the case, the study’s findings indicate that the engagement via online comments was very low in terms of numbers for both of the selected videos. Thus, it is hard to predict the answer to the second question for this study by looking at the number of comments only. To get a better idea of political engagement of online viewers, future studies should analyze a larger data of similar YouTube videos, which will help establish a ratio between the number of viewers and the number of comments on such videos. Out of 27 comments in total, only six were found unfavorable to the selected videos. The other 21 comments were favorable and supportive of the content of both of the videos. This aspect supports the findings of previous research that despite the fact that online discourse ensures the anonymity of users, people love to consume favorable messages and join like-minded communities on the Internet. This aspect also resonates with the real-life situation in which people join social movements based on their similar ideologies. Thus future studies need to explore whether the anonymity factor plays any role in generating a controversial dialogue on social media. In summary, the study’s findings support the argument that the Internet and social media have opened the doors of hope for freedom of information in a country like Pakistan where the ruling elite is never willing to lose its control over the traditional sources of news. Before the age of the Internet, Pakistani journalists did not have an alternate media to fulfill their social role whenever the government banned or blocked the traditional media outlets. However, the trend is changing rapidly because of the popularity of social networking sites such as YouTube in Pakistan and the people’s ability to broadcast and publish online. With the passage of time, it is becoming harder for the ruling elite to have an exclusive control over the

Authors: Arif, Rauf.
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Social media & political crisis in Pakistan 22
Whatever   the   case,   the   study’s   findings   indicate   that   the   engagement   via   online 
comments was very low in terms of numbers for both of the selected videos. Thus, it is hard to 
predict the answer to the second question for this study by looking at the number of comments 
only.   To   get   a   better   idea   of   political   engagement   of   online   viewers,   future   studies   should 
analyze a larger data of similar YouTube videos, which will help establish a ratio between the 
number of viewers and the number of comments on such videos.   
Out of 27 comments in total, only six were found unfavorable to the selected videos. The 
other 21 comments were favorable and supportive of the content of both of the videos. This 
aspect  supports  the  findings   of  previous  research   that  despite  the   fact   that   online   discourse 
ensures the anonymity of users, people love to consume favorable messages and join like-minded 
communities on the Internet. This aspect also resonates with the real-life situation in which 
people join social movements based on their similar ideologies. Thus future studies need to 
explore whether the anonymity factor plays any role in generating a controversial dialogue on 
social media. 
       In summary, the study’s findings support the argument that the Internet and social 
media have opened the doors of hope for freedom of information in a country like Pakistan 
where the ruling elite is never willing to lose its control over the traditional sources of news. 
Before the age of the Internet, Pakistani journalists did not have an alternate media to fulfill their 
social role whenever the government banned or blocked the traditional media outlets. However, 
the   trend   is   changing   rapidly   because   of   the   popularity   of   social   networking   sites   such   as 
YouTube in Pakistan and the people’s ability to broadcast and publish online. With the passage 
of   time,   it   is   becoming   harder   for   the   ruling   elite   to   have   an   exclusive   control   over   the 


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