Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2032-6904
  • E-ISSN: 2032-6912
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This paper examines how digital users in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia responded to the COVID-19 pandemic via engaging with crisis translation by subtitling COVID-19-related videos. It explores two aspects: (1) how did social media during the pandemic encourage subtitled videos? and (2) how were these clips distributed and received by social media users? It is argued that during the pandemic, social media facilitated the production and circulation of user-generated content by both individuals and institutions to subtitle global news and other genres. To understand the socio-digital dynamics of (fan)subtitling, this article analyses the subtitled clips posted on Twitter by the Saudi Ministry of Health (MoH) and 17 fansubbers during 2020. Subtitling is considered crucial in spreading accurate information to KSA people in time for them to take precautions against the pandemic in 2020. Another relevant factor is the developed technological infrastructure in KSA and the increased digital practice of Saudi Arabians using social media. Following the analysis of 175 clips from the 17 chosen fansubbers and 255 clips from the MoH, it was discovered that social media increased the visibility of COVID-19 clips with subtitles. There was an apparent competition among the fansubbers to accumulate social capital (social media capital), which gave rise to social media fansubbing, a form of non-professional subtitling produced by social media users. The subtitled clips were accompanied by various digital parataxis that supports the analysis and examination of social media fansubbing and crisis transition on Twitter1.


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