In a new research paper, sociologist Zeynep Tufekci argues that while social media can empower dissidents and make it easier to organize, governments are getting smarter — and the same things that make such tools useful also have a downside
As the world looks to the news unfolding in Egypt right now, Twitter has made it easier than ever for English-speaking users to follow high-profile Egyptian accounts with a new translation feature.
Last year demand for bandwidth rose by 40 percent, and much of that demand is now coming from all over the world, not just in developed countries.
It looks like Wednesday’s internet slowdown in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia may have been the result of sabotage, rather than the sort of accident that usually knocks out submarine cables.
Syria, which is engaged in a citizen revolt, has been cut off from the Internet according to several reports. This tactic isn’t all that difficult implement and is becoming more common, making the need for new open source technologies for wireless communications necessary.
Google says it blocked viewers in Egypt and Libya from seeing a controversial video clip on YouTube, after the video was allegedly linked to violence in both of those countries. But should Google be censoring content without even a request from a government or court?
In a discussion about his use of Twitter as a reporting tool, NPR strategist Andy Carvin made some interesting points about the value of crowdsourced journalism — including the importance of being transparent about the process, and the virtues of being human.
Citizen journalism and social-media tools have made it easier to get information out of countries like Egypt and Syria, but in some cases these reports may not be true. Does that mean citizen journalism is unreliable? No. It just means we need to approach it differently.
The news that Twitter will be censoring tweets has reinforced for many the fact that our freedoms exist at the mercy of the companies whose networks we are using — and being used by. How much trust should we have in these new information gatekeepers?
A spokesman for the board that oversees the Pulitzer Prize awards for journalism says live reporting of a news event using Twitter would not qualify for a Pulitzer unless it also appeared on a traditional news website. But does that definition fit how journalism works now?