In the context of civil war, tech-savvy and socially engaged Syrian citizens are resisting the state in creative ways. Eye-catching posters began to show up on Syrian streets around the time the uprising began in March 2011. In May 2011, citizens launched the “I am with Syria” Facebook page.
New research into the Twittersphere reveals that users connect with people nearby and far away at almost equal rates. People also share local and faraway news at almost equal rates. This study, the first to examine tweets based on geography, illustrates that social media helps people transcend the boundaries of distance that have typically hindered communication.
Several of the biggest social networking sites have recently come under fire for being too complicit with government requests for user information, failing to protect activists and dissent online, and enforcing arbitrary posting prohibitions for their users. This article presents the best alternative social networks currently in active development that hope to innovate the way people connect and share information online.
A new torrent of words including "today" and "June 4" referencing the Tiananmen Square Anniversary have been blocked from Chinese social media as the country engages in its annual crackdown on Internet, also known as "Internet Maintenance Day." And though the Chinese government is running a sophisticated and tight censorship ship, they're having a bit harder time blocking memes.
This week in #imweekly, new publication laws in Jordan lead to a shuttering of more than 200 websites, Turkish protestors are downloading VPNs to access the net in large numbers and stringent anti-defemation laws have attracted cricitism from civil society groups in Mexico.
Singapore recently passed a measure that requires online news websites to obtain licenses, pay a $40,000 bond, and agree to remove "prohibited content" within one day. Netizens protest, saying the measure's vague language could force bloggers and grassroots journalism out of business and chill their speech.
This year marks the 24th anniversary of China's Tiananmen Square massacre. In what has become an "Internet maintenance" ritual, the popular microblogging site Weibo blocked terms relating to the event but could not keep up with the memes netizens circulated to memorialize the event.