The Second Strategic Gulf Conference

In recent years, the accumulation of knowledge has contributed to forging a new sphere for the world’s people—a world that is characterized by developed and developing societies. Among the phenomena that have played a role in the emergence of this sphere: the information revolution that proliferated during the late 1990s, and the Internet spreading into most of the world’s countries, thereby allowing individuals to circumvent local laws governing their societies, especially those plagued by insufficient freedom of opinion and expression.

As the information revolution matured and its trappings diffused throughout the world, it had various adverse consequences that one typically associates with scientific revolutions, such as the First World War in the wake of the first industrial revolution, and the Second World War that was ushered in by the second industrial revolution.

Arguably among the worst phenomena in the new global sphere is the abuse of these advanced technologies and tools by individuals and groups—especially extremists. Modern digital technologies have facilitated the propagation of radical ideologies, and the emergence of non-state actors. These groups have utilized social media and the Internet as an effective means for spreading their messages. They focus their propaganda efforts primarily on youth, due to the latter’s reliance on digital technologies as a means for shaping their thoughts and expanding their network of contacts.

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