Censorship & Cultural Attitudes

A strong sense of indigenous culture – and a desire to preserve it – is felt in all countries surveyed. Respondents express concerns about potentially negative influences from outside the region, and at the same time see benefits in watching content from different parts of the world. There is general approval of government regulation of sensitive content such as violent and romantic content, and many support blockage of content that might be considered offensive. This support for censorship and government monitoring of entertainment content is observed across all facets of the population, except, perhaps, among Western expatriates in Qatar. In fact, in no other area of this survey do we find such consistency of opinion across the surveyed population.

While adults in the six participating countries show a clear preference for content generated in the Arab world across all media (except, perhaps, video games), they also consume – and enjoy – content from all parts of the world, the United States in particular. And while most people surveyed prefer entertainment about their own culture, many acknowledge that it is important to be exposed to other cultures through entertainment media.

In general, people see government involvement in media as a positive influence on content quality. Those who support censorship are more likely to be older, have children in the household, and are less likely to use the internet.