When violence goes viral: Sex, abuse and cruelty stain shameless Saudi YouTube shares
About 24% of the Middle East population uses social networks and perhaps, the largest segment of Arab users are Saudis. In fact, over half of the kingdom’s population is online.
It’s no wonder that the Saudis top the list of most active users on YouTube. Not only do Saudis use the site to view media, they also produce their own programs. Due to Saudi’s conservative nature, YouTube has become a forum for the more progressive or taboo views to be released publicly. Continue reading below »
Policing via YouTube
This conservative tendency on culture may be why senior Saudi security authorities focused their energy on solving cases through enlisting some of these shocking videos, vigilante-style.
Recent trends are showing that the Saudis are breaking their silence in sharing videos that depict some of the practices playing out in the desert kingdom. Most of these practices fall outside the traditional and very conservative image that the Saudi state is accustomed to projecting, to include videos revealing harassment of children, beatings of Saudi workers and windows into the violence being practiced by some police.
Some of these videos have contributed to exposing crimes and bringing the accused to trial, and others have worked to reunite families.
But more importantly, these videos break taboos and exceed the usual red lines in Saudi Arabia. They have helped to confront the idea that reality is far from the ideal that official Saudi media has insisted on for decades.
Warning: some viewers may find some of the videos listed below upsetting or shocking. Watch with caution.