E-GOVERNMENT ON TWITTER: THE USE OF TWITTER BY THE SAUDI AUTHORITIES
Information Studies Department, College of Computer and Information Sciences Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), Saudi Arabia email@example.com
Social media have proven to be convenient tools that can be used by government authorities to increase openness and transparency, gain a greater understanding of public opinions, promote the concept of eParticipation and give citizens a voice, as well as to reach many users at low cost. In addition, these social media have the unique feature of being able to update content frequently in real-time, in particular during emergencies, disasters, or special events. The purpose of this paper is to explore the adoption of Twitter by the government authorities in Saudi Arabia. It is a network analysis study seeking quantitative data. Ninety-three Saudi government authorities’ Twitter accounts were examined using web-based analytical tools. The general findings of the study indicate that the level of maturity of using Twitter by Saudi public authorities in general has not matured yet. Also, it is indicated that there is a significant difference between the performances of these accounts as only a few of them produced 53% of the total tweets. Natural and interactive accounts are more likely to have more followers. In addition, there is a misunderstanding of the role of using this new medium, as some authorities have more than one account and the collaboration between these accounts is limited in terms of being connected to each other.
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