We are in the six month of 2011. Within the last year, we have seen social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook being used to help organize and inform others of mass protests against regimes in the Middle East. Dubbed the “Arab Spring”, these protests have taken down several regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. These movements have also turned violent as other Middle Eastern autocrats refuse to let go of power and have turned their armies and internal security forces on their own people. There is internationally backed (disputed) armed rebellion [civil war] in Libya. Meanwhile in Syria, citizens are being slaughtered and tortured for protesting and gathering in public (i.e. funerals). It’s citizens are being chased into Turkey and Lebanon. In Bahrain (home to the United States’ 5th Fleet), mass protests have sprung up several times resulting in violent crackdowns, mass arrests of participants and the hospital workers treating the victims and show trials.
Also in use during the turbulent times around the globe, mobile phones. Not only are mobile phones good for sending mass text messages, informing people of protests, they have also become the electronic eye – showing the rest of us what people are witnessing and experiencing themselves. Video recorded via mobile phone has become the proof that we all need to see in order for us to wake up and say to ourselves, “What the hell is going on in this world?” (You can see Al Jazeera’s collection of video from Syria here) Continue reading