Political protest and social media: buzz or whisper?

Well, it's not Twitter and Facebook but the cunning means through which over 10,000 young Moldovans managed to reach out to each other through the services.

By harnessing a unique tag for their protests it was easy for the mass to get together at the same place, same time, for the same purpose. My question: how many of Britain's young people would a) know about the existence of Twitter, b) know what a tag is and c) how they could use a tag to convene a protest or campaign? It kind of puts into startk context the English Government's plans to 'teach Twitter' and the perhaps better-formed plans of the Scottish Government to include text messaging and social networks language in the fabric o....

Read more on the NYTimes. Pic from Flickr's own blog post on the photos captured.

Views: 12

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of 38minutes to add comments!

Join 38minutes

Comment by Stuart Cosgrove on April 17, 2009 at 11:40
Moldovan Update

"Not only did we underestimate the power of Twitter and the internet, we also underestimated the explosive anger among young people at the government's policies and electoral fraud," said Morar.

A fascinating development to the Moldovan rebellion, and one which captures the tension between 'whisper' and 'buzz'. Natalia Morar, whose tweets acted as a catalyst for the initial protest, which attracted 20,000 followers and activists, has been forced into hiding.

“It was "ironic", she added, that the tools she used to launch a revolution could now potentially betray her whereabouts.

So curiously our debate was played out in real life.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/15/moldova-activist-hiding-protests
Comment by Stuart Cosgrove on April 14, 2009 at 22:13
Fiji's coup leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, yesterday cracked down on the media, installing military censors in newsrooms and ordering the expulsion of foreign journalists from the Pacific island nation.

seems like most 'official media' twitter feeds are showing blockages too.
https://m.twitter.com/fijitimes
Comment by Ewan McIntosh on April 13, 2009 at 21:59
Will's comment reminds me that I did a 20 minute talk a couple of years ago about how two different groups - teachers and students - used their public and private space technologies in very different ways. The Baby Boomers used traditional low interaction means of getting to the streets to keep their schools open, while the Bebo Boomers used their social networks, text messages, and gambled on the fact that the council leaders wouldn't be digitally literate enough to see what was afoot. You can listen and view the slides here:
http://www.slideshare.net/ewan.mcintosh/bebo-boomers

and read my Comment is Free piece here:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/sep/19/beboboomersmakeastand
Comment by Ewan McIntosh on April 13, 2009 at 21:56
There's another example of the 'secret and hidden' end of the whispers-buzz axis in Somalia, where text messages are proving the most reliable means of Islamic insurgents getting their orders and striking up fear amongst others:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7932316.stm
Comment by william perrin on April 13, 2009 at 18:52
the stand out uk examples are the HSBC student campaign in facebook, like way back in 2007

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2007/aug/30/business.currentaccounts

and of course the colossal downing street epetitions, (i was one of the 'prats' behind this) which has now passed 10 million signatures and is easily the biggest such service in the world - although it can at times be hard to see what difference the petitions have made, people have always used them as a form of token protest

Avaaz http://www.avaaz.org/blog/en/ which has a good London operation is growing to truely huge proportions though not many in the UK have heard of it

overall at the heart of this is the ability of new media to reduce the cost of activism to the citizen - it is very expensive in time and money for a citizen with a busy life to get active. our methods of engagement in activism date from the C19th - go to a drafty town hall at an inconvenient time where no child care is provided to be bored to death or write a letter, which is fine if you have a decent education and english as a first language.

simple microeconomics govern behaviour here - the lower the cost of engagement, the more likely a citizen is to become active.

i have kicked this around informally with clay shirky. the market seems to end up at one of two extremes - the low cost, possibly low efficacy equilibrium of e-petitions but with massive levels of involvement or the high cost, good efficiacy but very low involvement levels of say going to meetings or becoming a councillor.

what we don't have at the minute is a middle ground - medium to low cost but reasonable efficacy engaging large numbers of people across the country. there is a foggy space here out of which shapes loom and recede - the shapes look a bit like the mysociety tools such as fixmystreet.com etc but made more engaging and local information services like www.kingscrossenvironment.com, and transparent engagement of local elected representatives like http://formbyfirst.typepad.com/ as well as a way for people who are active to get together and help each other out

the kind of thing we hope to do with Talk About Local when we emerge from 4IPs contractathon.
Comment by Stuart Cosgrove on April 13, 2009 at 13:11


The protest fast in Oslo. The Norwegian government's Oil Fund diverts 0.5% of national income from oil to peace movements around the world. It has become a small santuary for a generation of Tamils.
Comment by Stuart Cosgrove on April 13, 2009 at 13:05
“Tension is high in Bangkok today. Thousands of people effectively blocked off parliament. They want the government gone by Wednesday.”

“Excitement builds as protester seize public buses to get to the old Don Mueang Airport, the temporary government headquarters. Shots fired.”

“So far, the demonstration is peaceful. The Joint Session of parliament and Senate has been cancelled. Electricity to parliament gas been cut.”


For all the latest about the uprisings in Thailand as they ahppen and nwo appear to be facing suppression this is a good place where twitter feeds are aggregated:

the url is : http://globalvoicesonline.org/2008/11/25/thailand-rallies-and-twitter-updates/
Comment by Stuart Cosgrove on April 12, 2009 at 19:12
Two hunderd thousand Tamils were eventually mobilised to march.
Comment by Ewan McIntosh on April 11, 2009 at 12:21
The Guardian today carries two interesting pieces on the challenges and opportunities of the pervasive camera during political protest:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/11/video-g20-ian-tomlinson
and
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/11/police-surveillance-marina-hyde

I'm grouping these kind of links together under a new tag on my online bookmarks, Face, after a project I'm hoping to commission in the North East in May:
http://delicious.com/ewan.mcintosh/face
Comment by Stuart Cosgrove on April 11, 2009 at 11:11
BBC News reporting on major protests in Pattaya

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7994465.stm

Members

Latest Network Activity

Chris Goodwin posted a photo
Jun 28
Twig added a discussion to the group Wanted; Jobs, Skills, Resource
Thumbnail

WANTED: Executive Producer

Executive ProducerGlasgow   Circa £60kThe RoleWe are looking for an exceptionally talented executive producer to lead our current team of highly skilled individuals in Production and Post-production to deliver best in class films covering the curriculum and beyond for Twig’s clients and end users.Central to the role is delivering key curriculum content in the form of short format films and overseeing the work of our in-house teams to ensure products are completed on time, within budget, and to…See More
Jun 24
Patrick Høiseth updated their profile
Jun 19
Paul Bruce posted a blog post

Edinburgh Short Film Festival Deadline Nears!

The Deadline for submissions to the 2015 Edinburgh Short Film Festival is fast approaching! Last call for entries will be on June 29th 2015! The ESFF will be programming short films for festivals and arts events across the world from Tobermory to the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival and from the Sardinia Film Festival to Stornoway in the Scottish Western Isles! And of course, we’ll be screening the best films submitted at venues across Scotland's beautiful capital city during the…See More
Jun 17
Profile IconPatrick Høiseth and Lucy Wood joined 38minutes
Jun 17
Conrad R added a discussion to the group Wanted; Jobs, Skills, Resource
Thumbnail

Wanted: Front end developer, Shelter Scotland

Hey everyone, We're looking for a front end developer to join our 5 person digital team in Edinburgh. The post is for a fixed term, 3 days a week, for 2 years. Days are flexible, and the post could be made permanent pending on funding after the 2 years.It would suit a freelance developer looking for something a bit more stable whilst still being able to service their existing clients.Shout if you have any questions, I'm at…See More
Jun 17
David Farrell-Shaw posted a status
"Job hunting again"
Jun 16
Twig added a discussion to the group Wanted; Jobs, Skills, Resource
Thumbnail

Assistant Content Editor

Assistant Content EditorTwig World LimitedDeadline: 24 June 2015 at 17:30Twig is a dynamic digital content producer of high-quality, short-form factual films and learning resources for the international educational and online sectors.  We are looking for an Assistant Content Editor who will be responsible for: Assisting the Educational Editorial Team with the production of education materials across multiple projects. Proofreading a range of content for print and web publication. Updating and…See More
Jun 16

Companies, Groups and Organizations.

Contributors

38minutes is run by a small group of
volunteers, including:

 

Nicola Sinclair

Site editor

 

 

 

Gavin Robertson

Groups Co-ordinator

 

 

 

Espen Brunborg

Runs the Web group

 

 

 

Ashley Smith Hammond

Runs Digital Innovation group

 

 

 

Frank McGowan

Runs TV & Film group

 

 

 

Brian Baglow

Runs Gaming group

 

 

 

Would you like to volunteer? Get in touch!

Events

Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2015   Created by Nicola Sinclair.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service