Qatar Perceptions- Facebook
After reviewing every Facebook page between August 2018 to 2019 with the word Qatar in it, it became apparent that Facebook is primarily used inside Qatar for advertising and sharing information about events and other daily living issues. Therefore, the findings below are secondary in that they represent a selection of posts by different Qatar entities sharing information about their country. We can assume people from outside Qatar read these posts, and it helps form their opinion, which is why they are defined as secondary. There was an explicit search for visitors comments, as well as photos showing multi-ethnic events. There are some posts which include both positive and negative statements about Qatar that give the reader a sense of perception of the world's understanding of Qatar. The posts have been described by topic. Full information is provided on this spreadsheet.
- A page from the Qatar duty-free at the Doha airport shows many positive comments about the shopping.
- There are two post-secondary institutes in Qatar from North America. Both Carnegie Mellon from the US and the University of Calgary from Canada have campuses in Qatar.
- Facebook has a page called Jobs in Qatar, which provides links to job sites.
- The comments are not positive and this site does nothing positive for Qatar's image.
- The entertainment posts were selected to show events in which multi-ethnic participants are shown. From that, we assumed that people would travel to Qatar from another country, or the country already has a multi-cultural population.
- Both of these provide a perception of the country from outside.
- Events included a museum, a dragon boat festival, a movie opening of the latest Spiderman movie, an East-West run encouraging people of all nations to participate, a live concert and an Eid celebration. A post indicated that Time Magazine identified the National Museum of Qatar is one of the top 100 places in the world to visit.
- When combined these posts provide a perception of a fun, lively, energetic city.
- One of the posts that provided insights into living in Qatar was a picture of a flooded area with a demonstration of neighbors looking out for each other.
- Another showed full grocery shelves in defiance of the Saudi blockade,
- There are also a series of daily posts from the Ministry of the Interior wishing people a wonderful day, showing beautiful pictures of the country and providing the daily weather.
- One post from Qatar airways had several complaints about the airway's luggage handling service, while another showed a restaurant in Doha with a robotic waitress.
- There were two posts from Qatar airways, one showing in detail the engagement of a CSR with an unhappy passenger, which showed the Airlines in a positive light.
- The other was from the CEO thanking international passengers for making Qatar Airways, in Skytrak's annual reviews, the best airline in the world for the fifth year running.
- There were two video posts from Qatar Rail, one showing a progress report on the project showing the finished building and its amenities.
- The second was an announcement of the opening which provided excellent information on how to get around the city after a passenger the rail system to get into the downtown area.
- All of these left a sense that Qatar has a good transit infrastructure.
It is no surprise that the original posts were positive, as most were generated from inside Qatar to promote the organization doing the posting. Sometimes the lack of information is as significant as the information. There were very few negative comments on any of the sites we examined. There could be two reasons for this — one, Qatar is an excellent place to live for expats or two, there is a level of censorship or fear in posting negative comments, given the ubiquitousness of the government in the lives of the people. It is likely a bit of both.