Twit4D
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Twit4D
How Twitter serves (or not) social & political changes
Curated by Elie Levasseur
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How Twitter’s New Policy Rewards Elite Activism by Sarah Kendzior

On Thursday, Twitter announced that it would begin to selectively block tweets on a country by country basis. The decision prompted an immediate outcry from free speech advocates as well as a more measured response from scholars of social media, several of whom praised Twitter’s relative transparency while noting that it has no choice but to comply with the regulations of individual governments.

One of the most passionate defenders of Twitter’s new policy is Zeynep Tufekci, who described it as an “excellent policy which will be helpful to free-speech advocates”. Tufekci sees Twitter’s selective censorship as an improvement over the broad censorship practiced by other internet companies, in which content deemed offensive by one is deleted for all. Under the new guidelines, a tweet deemed inappropriate by the leaders of a particular country will only be censored within that country. To the rest of the world, it will be labeled as “blocked”, a development she describes as “excellent” because it renders state attempts to suppress speech transparent.

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BrianLehrer.tv: Crowdsourcing Atrocities in Syria

Non-profit tech company Ushahidi uses crowdsourcing and satellite maps to document government atrocities in Syria. Their director of crisis mapping, Patrick Meier, explains. Then Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation looks at how hackers in Syria are working for and against the regime.

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Syria's electronic army - Al Jazeera English by Jilian C. York

Syria's electronic army - Al Jazeera English by Jilian C. York | Twit4D | Scoop.it

While the battles between the opposition and the Syrian regime are waged on the ground, a different battle is emerging online.

In the midst of a virtual blackout on the city of Hama, citizen videos - often shaky and unverifiable - document the brutality of the Syrian military's crackdown on the city, ongoing since July 31 - the day before the start of Ramadan - while online campaigns, hosted on Facebook and Twitter, aim to draw attention to events on the ground. The narrative: Syrians are suffering and want the world to take notice.

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re:campaign XI: How Social Media Helped Spark the Arab Spring by Jillian C. York

re:campaign XI: How Social Media Helped Spark the Arab Spring by Jillian C. York | Twit4D | Scoop.it
On Saturday, I gave another talk in Berlin, this time at the re:campaign conference, on the role of technology in the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and beyond. My take, as I’m sure you know by now, is that tools are just that…tools, and that a revolution comes from human power, but that nevertheless, such technology has become integrated into our lives (and lives of Egyptians, Tunisians, etc) to the point where it’s only natural that we would turn to them in the case of social movements and protest.
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Tunisia and Bahrain Block Individual Twitter Pages by Jillian C. York

Tunisia and Bahrain Block Individual Twitter Pages by Jillian C. York | Twit4D | Scoop.it
First, governments blocked Blogspot. Then they blocked Facebook, and then Twitter. And just when technophiles all over the globe started groaning, a couple of governments got a bit wiser to social media and, rather than block the entire platform for the transgressions of one user, began blocking individual accounts instead. Notably, this has happened in the past with YouTube where, rather than cut off the video-sharing site for all users, a government will simply block a single video; the latest trend seems to be blocking individual Twitter pages.
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Of Cyber-Skeptics and Cyber-Utopians – Debunking Myths and Discussing the Future | meta-activism project by Nikila Srinivasan

Of Cyber-Skeptics and Cyber-Utopians – Debunking Myths and Discussing the Future | meta-activism project by Nikila Srinivasan | Twit4D | Scoop.it
About ten days before the events of January 25, the media was abuzz with writers and influential thinkers wondering if the Tunisian revolution was a Twitter revolution or not. The camps, as usual, were divided, with incessant criticism from cyber-skeptics and their tirades against cyber-utopians. Sifting through the widespread commentary about digital activism in the wake of the extraordinary events of the revolution at Egypt, the polarity of opinions is jarring.
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The Internet and Democracy - Evgeny Morozov, Jillian York, Deirdre Mulligan

Are the insurgencies spawned in the Arab Spring riding a wave borne by the internet, or are the new information technologies more likely to subvert those very movements? A discussion featuring Evgeny Morozov, an internet-savvy analyst of social protest and author of The Net Delusion, and Jillian York, who writes and speaks regularly about free expression, politics, and the internet, with a focus on the Arab world. Moderated by Deirdre Mulligan, professor of law at the UC Berkeley School of Information and a faculty director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. Presented by Dissent, ISSI's Center for Research on Social Change, and CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative

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Twitter Trolling as Propaganda Tactic: Bahrain and Syria by Jillian C. York

Twitter Trolling as Propaganda Tactic: Bahrain and Syria by Jillian C. York | Twit4D | Scoop.it

I’ve spent the past few months documenting the tactics of the Syrian Electronic Army and other factions in respect to spreading propaganda to counter anti-opposition sentiment (you can find my writing on the SEA here, here, and here; and an interview with NPR here). I’ve mainly focused on the utility of hacktivism in awareness-raising, with some emphasis on the effectiveness of flooding the dominant media narrative for the purpose of gaining attention for the other side (in this case, the pro-regime side), but what I haven’t touched on is the longer-term effect these tactics are having on people both in-country and outside, as well as where this type of activity fits in the broader landscape of online activism in the region.

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Arabloggers 2011: Tunisian Voices by Jillian C. York

Arabloggers 2011: Tunisian Voices by Jillian C. York | Twit4D | Scoop.it

Transcription o 3rd arab Bloggers (#AB11) conf day1. Tunisian bloggers & Politics, featuring Riadh Guerfali (@Astrubaal), Amira Yahyaoui (@mira404), Tarek Kahlaoui, Mehdi Lamloum (@MehdiLamloum) and Slim Amamou (@Slim404), moderated by Malek Khadraoui. The panelists spoke in French and Arabic, so all quotes below are an approximation.

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Syria's Twitter spambots by Jillian C York

Syria's Twitter spambots by Jillian C York | Twit4D | Scoop.it
Jillian C York: Twitter isn't always a tool for protest – in Syria pro-regime accounts have been set up to flood the pro-revolution narrative...
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Would Anonymity Help Activists on Facebook? A Response to Luke Allnutt by Jillian C. York

Would Anonymity Help Activists on Facebook? A Response to Luke Allnutt
Luke Allnutt has a thoughtful piece on RFE/RL asking the above question: Would anonymity help activists on Facebook? His response, “maybe not,” relies on the idea that anonymity would be extended only to those with special “activist status,” something I haven’t heard concretely argued as a potential model but which is nonetheless troubling. Allnutt writes:
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