Friday, 15 April 2011

Bahrain: When social media goes to civil war

We are seeing some facebook pages from Bahrain trying to leverage the oppositions use of social media to the wider more traditional media. Facebook groups include one trying to get Oprah Winfery to take up the cause of human rights in Bahrain, and one supporting CNN's Amber Lyon break through reporting from Bahrain on conditions for ordinary people. (Both sites are shown translated using

From Drop Box

But if the opposition is trying to reach the wider world with facebook, the regime is trying to use facebook to increase repression. The arabic group, translated "Together to detect traitors" is trying to use the social media site to support the crackdown. In fact a site for detecting traitors is probably as close to state terror on facebook as you are ever going to get.

From Drop Box

The detect traitor site certainly violates facebook's ToS and probably could be taken down easily enough. But in a network global civilization another would just pop up over night. In a sign of how hard line things are getting none of these sites invite discussion or comments on the wall. The lines are getting harder and harder and with protesters dying in Bahrain's prisons we can only hope somehow dialogue can open up before more violence. But with the regime determined to paint the opposition as nothing omore than Iranian agents and the opposition looking to the outside world this is looking more and more like a low intensity Libya every day. Frankly the Bahraini rulers don't dress much better than Gaddafi, and recently have become almost as hard lined.

The below vido shows the US position:

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