Opinion makers

Since social media became widely spread, everyone in Libya migrated to Facebook, including those who were active on Yahoo’s Maktoob chat rooms, those who were popular on PalTalk or other media, as well as the many online forums discussing a range of topics such as culture, politics, sports, technology and society, which have been abandoned as the majority of interactions take place on Facebook and other new social media platforms.

Libyan politics and economic issues are very complex, additionally the number of factions are ever changing as new alliances are formed and old ones collapse. There has been a power shift over different parts of the country and the situation is still dynamic and unpredictable as each day can always bring new surprises and a new shift in the power dynamics. But over the years there have been few personalities who managed to stay influential and relevant despite the changes of many variables, and this list includes the London-based political analyst Noman Benotman, who frequently appears on TV to analyse the Libyan conflict and always makes fiery comments and expresses very controversial views without restrictions. He has 306,739 followers on Twitter alone, and these tend to be mostly from Gaddafi regime supporters and those who sympathise with them, including a wide range of groups which expanded after the aspiration of the 2011 uprising did not come to fruition. Similarly, Fuad Gritli is a Tripoli radio host, singer and v-logger, who posts videos summarising the news in a comedic way. He also composes songs and while playing his guitar he sheds light on everyday struggles of Libyan citizens and youth. One of the most followed Youtube channels with a very active fan base is Keta3channel, owned by Seraj Alalem and his wife Amani Alqatrani. On the entertainment and travel sphere one must quote the famous Rahalista channel by Mohamed Alselini.

One of Gaddafi's closest relatives who took refuge in Egypt, Ahmed Gaddaf Addam, has 1,393,723 likes to his Facebook page, followed by the oil tycoon Hassan Tatanaki, owner of the abovementioned Libya Awalan TV, with 1,177,092 likes. Dar Al Ifta, the Islamic and Religious Affairs authority in the country, chaired by the Grand Mufti Sadiq Al-Ghariani despite becoming a controversial figure in Libya after his decision to point all his supporters towards fighting Marshal Haftar, still has 876,220 Facebook likes. This is the highest number of likes for a governmental body, twice as much of the UN-backed government which stands at 419,000, even less than the US Embassy in Libya which has 451,711 Facebook likes.