Once again, here are some interesting bits of news related to our coverage region, in this case, Russia, from the folks at CIMA’s Digital Mash Up, including a link to a Forbes profile of Alexei Navalny:
An Uzbek woman committed suicide on 4 December after being held and interrogated by police for four days, according to Radio Free Europe. A human rights activist told RFE that Gulsumoy Abdujalilova was beaten and pressured to help murder opposition activists. She was a university student in Germany who was home for vacation in the western province of Andijan when she was summoned by authorities. Some believe she was signaled out by Uzbek police because of her Facebook friends and activity. Read More »
Days before Russians go to the polls to choose a new parliament, Global Voices blogger Alexey Sidorenko reports on a remarkable example of push-back against the “official” way of electioneering – and increasing pressure from the political center on a group intent on documenting election violations. Read More »
Social media-spawned protests have failed to materialize as expected despite recent attempts by Belarusian activists. Read More »
As Russia gears up for parliamentary elections in a few days and presidential elections this coming spring, more and more eyes are turning to watch a new player in the national political scene there: the Internet. Read More »
Belarusian writer, researcher and social commentator Evgeny Morozov is an expert on how technology affects social and political arenas. Earlier this year he published a book called The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom where he looks critically at the ideas and idealism of cyber-utopianism and how the Internet may do as much harm for democracy as it does good for people in authoritarian states.
In 2009, Morozov gave a talk called The Internet in Society: Empowering or Censoring Citizens where he spoke about these issues. RSA Animate put the talk to images for this great video.
A video that may or may not show hundreds of Russians booing Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a mixed martial arts match this past weekend has gone viral. Almost 2 million people have now watched the video of the incident, which took place on 20 November after Putin appeared in the ring to congratulate Fedor on his victory. While the organizers and Kremlin claim that the crowd was razzing the defeated American fighter, Jeff Monson, many believe the audience’s anger was directed at Putin. Read More »
Politicians have a way with words. Sometimes they also have a way with facts. That is to say, they have their way with the facts. That’s why new sites are popping up around the world to keep politicians honest and hold them to their promises. A website in Slovakia, Demagog.sk, is doing just that. Read More »
Activists and civil society participants in Romania are coming up with innovative ways of combatting problems they see in their communities. A recent blog post on Tech Soup Global talks about what seems to have been a really productive competition called Restart Romania. The competition, organized by Tech Soup Romania, was designed to find, develop and support a few of the best ideas. Read More »
Twitter is a great tool for journalists to use when collecting information, but it can also be a valuable lifeline should they run into any trouble while reporting. A recent story posted by Foreign Policy tells the breathless tale of an American journalist arrested while working in Kyrgyzstan. He had been covering a protest when he was picked up by men claiming to be secret police. Fortunately for him, he was able to phone a friend before being taken away. This is the story of how his friends were able to use Twitter to locate him and start an immediate dialogue with the people in power who could help set him free.
Homepage photo by Alton, Creative Commons licensed.
He is the most popular Georgian on Facebook, and the number of his fans increased after a recent announcement by his billionaire father, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgia’s richest man according to Forbes, with an estimated worth of $5.5billion. Ivanishvili declared that he would form a political party and take part in the 2012 parliamentary elections.
While high costs and low speeds, heavily regulated content, and daily threats of violence and arrest continue to frustrate journalists working online in Russia and Central Asia, increasingly, networks of young activists have been using the latest developments in social media to promote anti-corruption. Read More »