Net Prophet

Welcome to Net Prophet, a blog tracking new media and tech developments across Central Europe and Eurasia

4M Forum in Tbilisi

Nov 22, 2013
Regional 4M Forum brought more than one hundred journalists, media professionals and online activists from the south Caucasus and other European countries to Tbilisi to discuss today's pressing issues of the Internet and online media on November 14-15. The forum presented the south Caucasus participants with opportunities for networking and an open environment for sharing challenges and problems faced in the field. The collaborative atmosphere allowed participants to find out how other journalists from other countries deal with similar obstacles. German freelance reporter Deborah Wild, who is now based in Yerevan, said,  “The forum showed the importance of social media in various situations and most essentially showed that there is a great difference between countries. In some countries social media has become the tool to get the messages out, because journalists can not report by traditional means, like for example, in Azerbaijan and Belarus. While in Georgia, it is a very different situation, as social media tools are used as a platform for discussion." The forum consisted of 17 sessions, and sample topics included: new economic models in a new media environment,  crowd funding as a tool to encourage a sustainable media, citizen participation in news gathering, and increased cooperation among citizen and professional journalists. Canal France International organized the 2013 4M Forum.

Unprecedented communications monitoring set for Sochi Olympics

Oct 8, 2013
Two Russian investigative reporters have uncovered plans for extensive monitoring of electronic communications during next February’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Guardian reports. Read More »

The Moscow Mayor’s mischievous viral marketing

Throughout the Moscow mayor’s race, Alexey Navalny’s campaign has taken a beating from all sides on questions about financing, nationalism, and even transparency. Read More »

Azerbaijani gets jail for dissing bank as corrupt on Facebook

Aug 22, 2013
It calls itself “Your Accessible European Bank” and is partly owned by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, an institution pledged to uphold democratic values. Read More »

Macedonia turns to SMS to curb pesticide use

Aug 19, 2013
Farmers in the Prespa Lake Basin of Resen, Macedonia are reducing the amount of harmful pesticides polluting the region with the help of a new system that incorporates monitoring pests and social media, according to National Geographic’s “News Watch”. Read More »

Teen suicides put Latvia’s Ask.fm under scrutiny

Aug 14, 2013
The parents of the Latvian founders of a social media platform involved in a British suicide row are defending their sons, the Daily Mail writes. Latvian entrepreneurs and founders of Ask.fm, Ilja Terebin, 34, and Mark Terebin, 29, have come under fire from relatives of teens who have committed suicide after being cyber-bullied. Read More »

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 »

Moscow to track subway riders’ mobile phones

Aug 5, 2013
Moscow’s metro system will soon be equipped with devices able to read data off people’s mobile phones. Read More »

Picturing a budget, one color at a time

Aug 2, 2013
An independent think tank in Moldova is trying to start debate about public money, and they are hoping to spark it with some very pretty pictures. Read More »

Turkmenistan’s Internet blues

Turkmenistan is infamous for its tightly controlled media, and is one of the world's greatest Internet Enemies by Reporters Without Borders’ estimations. With the average Turkmen finding his or her Internet access intermittent, slow, and tightly circumscribed, it is perhaps unsurprising that cyber-optimism among Turkmen internet users is running at an all time low. Read More »

Russians, Ukrainian charged in ‘cutting edge’ global hacking scheme

Jul 30, 2013
Four Russians and a Ukrainian have been charged in what U.S. officials call the largest hacking attack in the country's history, RIA Novosti reports. Read More »

Sudden death of Yandex co-founder shakes RuNet

Jul 29, 2013
Ilya Segalovich, co-founder and chief technological officer of the Russian search engine Yandex, passed away 27 July, in a London hospital due to cancer-related causes. Read More »

Gazprom chief to get $4 million iPad

Jul 29, 2013
Russia Beyond the Headlines details  a tender for a new iPad custom-made for Gazprom chairman Alexei Miller. Read More »

SICamp 2013 takes off in Moldova

Jul 26, 2013
SICamp Moldova 2013 will take place this weekend. Out of 152 applicants 45 were selected to work in teams to tackle nine different social issues using technology and new media. Read More »
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