Digital media technology and social change: a study of the phenomenon of electronic blackmail in social media in Oman

DOI: 10.46988/IJMMC.03.01.2021.03


  • Dr. Bahaa Eldin Mohamed Ibrahim Professor of Mass Communication and digital media at the University of technology and Applied Sciences in Sur-Oman
  • Dr. Sami Rashid AlBatashi Professor of Public Relations at the University of technology and Applied Sciences in Sur-Oman


Since the mid-nineties of the last century, the Arab world has witnessed a massive information and communication revolution represented by the emergence of the Internet. Social media emerged as one of the tributaries of that technological revolution. The Gulf Cooperation Council countries were among the most affected by this technological development in communication for their economic development. After she was amazed at the revolution of satellites and the multiplicity of her television channels, she found herself in front of new means of communication, knocking on her door without permission. Like any recent technology, it has countless advantages and disadvantages, disadvantages, and benefits. Social media has led to profound social transformations in the Arab Gulf states, as it is among the most technologically active countries, according to a report by the International Telecommunication Union.

The research paper discusses the social changes that accompanied the emergence of these new means of communication, focusing on the negative side that accompanied it, such as the phenomenon of electronic crime, and precisely the phenomenon of electronic extortion in the Sultanate of Oman, which international statistics indicate that the number of Internet users at the end of January 2019 reached approximately 3,780,000, which represents 77% of the total population. Furthermore, the study aims to find out the behavioral changes that accompanied the negative use of social media in the Sultanate of Oman by shedding light on the phenomenon of electronic extortion as an alien phenomenon in the conservative Omani society.

After analyzing the statistics issued by the official authorities, the study concluded that the most significant number of cases of electronic extortion recorded in the Sultanate was in 2017, the year in which the number of users of social media increased by 600,000 new users. Therefore, to avoid these crimes, we must educate young people by emphasizing the danger of these electronic crimes in our Arab societies and educating parents to monitor their children's behavior on these media platforms.