Gamers cry foul over too many Soviet stereotypes

Aug 7, 2013

Despite receiving positive reviews following its release, ‘Company of Heroes 2’, the sequel to the extremely popular RTS (real-time strategy) game by Relic, has recently elicited a strong backlash emanating from countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States that has cut to the very heart of historical accuracy and regional politics, according to the video game news site Polygon. Read More »

CA overlooked again as Twitter crowdsources translation

Mar 20, 2013

Twitter has opened up its code for translation into more than 50 languages. This is a great opportunity for users all over the world to contribute to and adopt the platform in their own language.  Yet one region, as seems to be a growing trend, seems noticeably absent. Read More »

Bridging the digital divide (one Central Asian language at a time)

Mar 12, 2013

The localization of Skype into the Kyrgyz language in 2011 has been the first step to opening the world’s most popular messenger to the people who do not – surprise, surprise – speak Russian or English. Read More »

‘Carousel Voting’ Goes Viral in Kyrgyz Elections

Nearly three months of intrusive and irksome electoral campaigns in Kyrgyzstan came to an end as votes were counted for the five municipal elections held on November 25. But with the results in, a scandalous piece of citizen media has left a sour taste in the mouth. Read More »

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 »

Odnoklassniki localized into Kyrgyz

Sep 28, 2012, one of the biggest and the most popular social networks in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, has launched a Kyrgyz-language version of its mobile site. Read More »

Net freedom under fire in Kyrgyzstan

Sep 17, 2012

The only parliamentarian republic in Central Asia – Kyrgyzstan– has become the scene of a growing attack on Internet freedom. In the beginning of September, parliamentarians and security services proposed  two new measures which, according to opinion leaders and experts, would increase censorship in an already restricted Internet landscape.

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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 »

Kyrgyzstan’s secret service to scour Internet for hate speech

Aug 27, 2012

Kyrgyzstan’s secret police are set to begin monitoring the Internet for what it calls hate speech, according to the Institute for War & Peace Reporting. The country’s security agency, the GKNB (State Committee for National Security), will launch a system next April that will search Kyrgyz-language websites and .kg websites for, “content liable to incite hatred on grounds of ethnicity, religion and even regional origin,” following recommendations from a Kyrgyz parliamentary commission. Read More »

Central Asia & Caucasus: The Promise and Pitfalls of New Election Technologies

In announcing that Georgia’s parliamentary elections would take place October 1, President Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration affirmed its commitment to conduct what one official said would be an “exemplary” vote. New technologies are helping election monitors hold officials to such pledges, but they still have limitations, experts say. Read More »

Ramadan Time! Kyrgyzstan’s Muslims get fasting help via text message

In case anyone still doubts that a 1,400-year-old religion is compatible with a 21st-century social-networking tool, a new Twitter-based project in Kyrgyzstan should put those doubts to rest. Read More »

Spreading social innovation in Central Asia with SICamp 2012

Apr 16, 2012
Transitions is launching the second SICamp, together with the Soros Foundation in Kazakhstan, which will take place on 17-20 May in or near Almaty. Read More »

Bishkek cuts access to regional news site

Feb 23, 2012

Acting on an eight-month-old resolution passed by Kyrgyzstan’s parliament, a state-run Internet company has blocked one of the region’s top independent news sites, according to Radio Free Europe.

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