Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Moscow blames Google for unrest

"Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's deputy blamed Google in an interview published on Tuesday for stirring up trouble in the revolution that ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.

"In an interview he blames Google for " stirring up the energy of the people". It is interesting to note that Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin a Russian American computer scientist who, with Larry Page, is best known as the co-founder of Google.

"It may appear that the Duma feels a bit weak in being able to control the Northern Caucuses and is using this as an excuse to crack down and deploy more internet censorship. Russia has a very open internet culture but the article suggests it is looking at filtering more information following the footsteps of China."

"The capital Moscow and also St. Petersberg has also seen recent protest but the protesters were immediately arrested and the protests stopped and it appears Medvedev and Putin are very concerned about any opposition movements who want to work collectively on any social networks to gather and go protest on the streets."


Russia's Regime perhaps faces the largest threat from social media in all the BRICs. Russia has a very high level of geolocated tweets. Moscow center regularly has geotagged tweeting scores in the 80s out of 100 on our scale. This will translate in to high use of sites like Facebook and YouTube. So certainly the framework of a agile communication community is in place. In Egypt, Tunisia, and Bahrain this framework has allow motivated protests to inspire, communicate and coordinate faster than the state could respond.

Compared with other BRICs Russia has open itself up to Web 3.0. In face Russia has actively sought to become a player in the Social Media and IT market. Take up of twitter has been far higher in Russia's Moscow than Mumbai see score in real time or Delhi see score in real time. India has been not worthy for its lack of adoption of Web 3.0 in large scale. Levels of tweeting in India mega-cities are now far lower than those in many Gulf cities like Kuwait City, Lulu Roundabout, Cairo, and Doha. There is a lot of political unrest in India but little sign the social networks are in a position to use them.

Brazil's "neo-Marxist" government is popular and generally democratic and likely not to face revolt.

China is also politically repressive with a large community that would like change. Shanghi and Hong Kong have high levels of tweeting so it will be interesting to see if China also faces more unrest organized in social networks.

Perhaps the largest difference between Russia and China is that China has adopted the Internet as a necessity, concentrating most of its economy on industry. Russia has followed a less disciplined adoption route of the Internet and has also we think has more actively sought to produce an information worker economy.

So our prediction is that there is a profound probability that Russia will face protests and unrests organized on the Social Networks. But we see no activity on twitter out of the ordinary for Moscow at this time.

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