The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 4, No 3 (2016)

Digital politics on Facebook during the Arab Spring in Morocco: Adaptive strategies of satire relative to its political and cultural context

Mohamed Mifdal


When the Arab Spring began, a growing number of Moroccan Facebookers flaunted their dissent in the face of the regime and used subversive satire to question its legitimacy or push for more freedoms.  However, this expression in the form of satire waned after the situation became settled and the satirists had to adjust their satire to the new political reality. This article explores the adaptive strategies of satire in a repressive context during settled and unsettled periods. By scrutinizing satiric posts on Facebook for over four years, I argue that satire, as critique and resistance, adjusts itself to the context,  either by taking advantage of  increased political space and freedoms or by resorting to indirection, self-censorship or tactical play with power. In both instances, the satiric performance is bound to stay within consensual cultural and political norms even when it is most subversive as these norms profoundly shape its creation and public reception.


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