Posts by Net Prophet

Kyrgyzstan MP seeks ban on “SMS divorces”

Nov 27, 2012

Turushnbai Bakir-Uulu, a member of the Kyrgyz Parliament, has called for the country’s grand mufti to ban “SMS divorce,” Radio Free Europe reports. In the Sunni Muslim tradition, a man can say “talaq” to his wife one to three times and divorce her. The debate is now centered on whether or not sending “talaq” via SMS is valid. Read More »

Kyrgyz election candidates timidly test social media waters

Nov 21, 2012

As local government election campaigns heat up around Kyrgyzstan, some candidates are looking to social media as an additional platform for political battle and drawing voter attention. Candidates and parties in Kyrgyzstan have begun to recognize the power of social networks following the 2010 revolution. But so far, it seems few candidates are willing to embrace Facebook and Twitter as a campaign tool and dive in head first. Read More »

Azerbaijan: How to Measure Free Speech on the Internet?

Originally published by

Civil society activists in Azerbaijan are trying to push back against government efforts to restrict space for public debate. And they’re hoping a recent global Internet forum in Baku will expand international support for their cause.

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The uses and abuses of fighting extremism on RuNet

The Internet is becoming ever more accessible in Russia, offering unlimited possibilities for the distribution of every kind of content. Cyberspace is also censored very minimally. This gives everyone an opportunity to speak their minds and cyber-antagonism is widespread in the Russian Internet community. Read More »

Blogger provides look into Russian war on terror

The anonymous LiveJournal blog hardingush [ru] was created on September 15, 2012. Now, less than two months later, the blog, subtitled Spetsnaz Ingushetii (Ingush Special Forces), is number 425th [ru] in LJ’s general user rating. Netizens have left over 4,000 comments on its various posts. Four of these posts also made it into the October top-25 list [ru] of North Caucasus bloggers (a monthly rating compiled by Moscow-based blogger timag82 [ru]). Read More »

Russia: With Opposition’s Online Elections Over, Scandals Plague Results

The Coordinating Council elections are finally over. Now that the results are in, and the Council has already convened [ru] for the first time, it’s time to look more closely at what happened. Read More »

Russia: Lawmaker Wants to Regulate Social Networks

In the echo-chamber of RuNet it is easy for bloggers to fall prey to sensationalist headlines. A case in point:

A few days ago several bloggers were incensed by the idea that a Duma committee responsible for legislating the Internet was going to propose a new law [ru] requiring passport identification for users of social networks. Read More »

Russia: Crowdmapping Corruption with Bribr Mobile App

Bribr [ru; App StoreFacebook] is a newly-launched iPhone/iPad app that allows anonymous users in Russia to submit the locations and the amounts of the bribes they pay. Later, it will be possible to report on the bribes taken as well. Read More »

Ukraine: Humorous Political Ad Sparks Online “Pussy Cat Riot”

Half a month ago, after weeks of tension caused by the adoption of the controversial Language Law and in the midst of an intense pre-election mudslinging period, Ukrainians were finally rewarded with the much-needed comic relief. Read More »

Russia: The Kostin Report & the Trojan Horse of American ICT

Earlier this week, Russian media outlets got a sneak peek [ru] at an upcoming report on the foreign penetration of the Russian Internet and the potential manipulation of the country’s future elections. Read More »

Russia: SocialCamp, Crowdsourcing and Open Data

A SocialCamp Russia ‘unconference’ took place in Moscow from 7th to 9th of September. Over the course of three days social activists spoke about projects aimed at raising awareness, improving mutual understanding, promoting philanthropy, and much more. Read More »

Kyrgyzstan: Facebook Post Spurs Row with Belarus

Sep 10, 2012

A photo taken by a Minsk-based democracy activist, Mikhail Pashkevich, has sent relations between the former-Soviet republics of Belarus and Kyrgyzstan into a nosedive. Read More »

Macedonia, Bulgaria: Social Media Users Help Expose Forgery

Sep 7, 2012

A fact-checking intervention – a joint effort by Macedonian and Bulgarian social media users – has helped independent journalists expose forged documents used as lure for suspicious humanitarian donations. Read More »

Russia: Millions of Taxpayer Rubles Earmarked for Facebook “Likes”

Earlier last week, blogger and anti-corruption activist Aleksei Navalny took aim at a pending state tender [ru] for advertising services to aid the state-owned broadcasting company The Voice of Russia (VoR). Next month, an auction will be held through Sberbank [ru] to find a firm capable of meeting VoR’s publicity targets. The maximum price tag has been capped at 7 million rubles (220 thousand USD). Read More »

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