Review of Anonymous (Group)

Anonymous is a hacktivist group that has been around since about 2004. A hacktivist is somebody who is politically protesting over the internet. The group originated from the website 4chan and has slowly evolved since then. Their first big protest was against the Church of Scientology where members across the world where told to meet at the nearest church wearing Guy Fawkes Masks.

Most recently Anonymous has participated in assisting with the revolution in Egypt after the previous dictator had shut down the internet to the entire country. They have also played a strong roll supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Other events they have protested against include; The Pirate Bay, Megaupload, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy act),  Kony, Government Websites, Internet Pedophilia, and other religious organizations.

In 2012 Times Magazine named Anonymous as one of the most influential groups of people in the world.

To watch a documentary on the group feel free to go here.

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Source Review on “New Study Quantifies use of Social Media in Arab Spring”

This is an Article published by the University of Washington by Catherine O’Donnel. It starts by talking about how in the 21st century revolutions may not be televised, but they are likely to be tweeted, blogged, texted, and organized on Facebook. It then goes on to help explain how social media has been used in the Arab Spring.

The article compares figures of social media like how political tweets went from 2,300 a day, the week before the Egyptian revolution, to 230,000 a day, and how videos featuring protests and political commentary of the Egyptian revolution has gone viral and the top 23 videos received nearly 5.5 million views.

The article ends with explaining how social media helped organize the enemies of dictators in the Middle East, and how that led to the downfall of many corrupt leaders.

THe article was part of the Project on Information Technology and Political Islam. See the article here, and the full report here.

The Third Way

With the coming of the Arab Spring, countries in it’s path have been facing a choice of two options. Either an entrenched tyranny or a revolution. The king of Morocco, however, has opted for a 3rd option. While remaining the political figure head of the country, he has given more power to the people. Instead of being a servant to the palace, the prime minister is now a partner in power.

All of this seems to be good news for the country of Morocco, if it actually would seem to make any difference. Journalists are still being banned, public television is still ran by the king, old political figures are still present, and the new government is banned from being able to take part of the first regulation under its rule.

Here is a full article about the changes in Morocco.

Merits of a Government

People have been fighting for centuries trying to find the perfect form of government, the turmoil in the Middle East with the Arab Spring is no different. I want to point out something peculiar I noticed when I was spending time in Morocco. 

The people where protesting the king and demanding democracy, and unlike the other Middle Eastern dictators/kings/rulers, the Moroccan king said “Okay, fine.” and this is what happened…

The people got a prime minister, new taxes to pay for the new government, and a king that was still ultimately in power. What I noticed, however, that the king stayed in power by giving the people something to do. They vote for their prime minister, who deals with the day to day operations of running the government, stuff the king didn’t want to do anyways. So at the end of the day, the king stays in power, and the people are kept busy thinking they are helping themselves.

Theres somethings in that scenario that is repeated across history. Successful governments keep the people busy, while the elite operate behind the scenes. This idea sort of sparked a revolution in my head. Think of what the presidents argue for when they are elected. I will fix the economy, I will end this war, I will start this war, I will give us healthcare, I will legalize gay marriage. All of that is non-sense. The presidents don’t have the power to do half of the stuff they say they will.

As Americans, we are all “entertained” by politics. We think that our “vote” will make a difference with who is elected, but in my personal opinion, it is the elite who run this country, and they give us a president as a toy to keep us busy.

250,000 likes on a Facebook page toppled the Egyptian Government. Youtube goes through 100,000,000,000 views, a DAY. THAT is actual power, that the U.S. president or any other part of the United States government couldn’t dream of having. 

One last piece of thought. If 80% of the economy is owned by 5% of the people, and those 5% of the people only pay a 20% tax, that means that, that 5% of the people in the country, are 4 times more powerful than the entire U.S. Government.

Review of Source “The 6 Types of Social Media”

This articled was posted on a blogging website called Out:Think, which is owned by Tim Grahl. One of this websites most recent articles “The 6 Types of Social Media” sparked my interest because it is one of the few sources that actually tries to define the social media.

Some of the most common social media sites are listed in the article. Facebook, LinkedIn, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter are all hailed as some of the most popular social media websites.

The author makes the claim that Social Networks, Bookmarking Sites, Social News, Media Sharing, Microblogging, and Blog Comments and Forums are the 6 different ways that Social Media allows us to communicate. An interesting distinction that this makes, is that social media is a software invention, NOT a hardware invention. That means that things like your phone and computer actually are not defined as social media.

If you are interested in the article you are able to see it here!

The Censorship of YouTube

YouTube is currently ranked the 3rd most visited site in the world. With over 100 Billion views a day, it is almost impossible to find a soul in the world that hasn’t heard its name. Recently, however, certain countries have been starting to decide to block YouTube, or sections of YouTube, to their general population. 

In 2008 Armenia blocked YouTube after a disputed presidential debate where protesters uploaded videos of police brutality. YouTube has been blocked in China since 2007 to control information, and it was blocked in 2006 in Iran because it is considered “Immoral”.  

and it has been blocked in many many more countries, and most of them seem to have a surprising reason in common. They try to control the information that their public receives. Why? Most would assume because if you can control the masses you shall remain in power.

Here’s a list of more countries that are blocking YouTube, and why.

The Innocence of Muslims

The Innocence of Muslims is the name of a movie that has recently released a trailer on YouTube. The trailer hasn’t actually gotten that big with only 16 million views, but even so, it has caused a wave of riots across the Middle East. The movie trailer starts off normal enough, but it goes on to express anti-Muslim material throughout the trailer. It depicts that all Muslims are violent, savage, uneducated barbarians, and it viciously insults the profit Mohammad (our equivalent of Jesus). 

The movie has caused the Arab Spring to become even more violent. Protests in Egypt, Syria  and Libya have caused mass disturbances, resulting in the death of an American Ambassador in Libya. The Innocence of Muslim has started to become blocked on YouTube in countries where there has been the biggest protests, such as Libya and Syria, but personally, I think YouTube should just take down the video all together.

We don’t need a video like this to be advertised to the world.