Syrian Citizens Fight Censorship

http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2012/09/02/unicef-1600-killed-in-syrias-civil-war-last-week-2/

 Syrian tanks roll down a demolished street.

Syria is a great example of how people’s access to social media and other communicative technologies can be a crucial component of social justice.

The country is involved in a conflict right now – a civil war, if you will. The government ordered the use of military violence to suppress protests and demonstrations in Spring of 2011. Since then, rebel groups have fought back against the military and the violence has exploded, claiming tens of thousands of lives.

 Syrian citizens form militant group.

As journalists and media outlets have tried to spotlight this violence, the government has been proactive in shutting them down. Its actions have included the arrests of and attacks on journalists, the disabling of phones and electricity, and even the censorship of the Internet.

As gruesome and disheartening as the situation is, it has shown that people can use social media to draw attention to atrocities.  As the government manipulates what people hear about the fighting – for example, blaming deaths on a rebel carbomb – citizens are taking it upon themselves to distribute the truth, mostly through the cameras on their cell phones.

Private citizens are surpassing government censorship to help people learn what is really happening in a war-torn country. This might not have been possible before the “age of technology.”

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2 thoughts on “Syrian Citizens Fight Censorship

  1. derrickkrom says:

    This was a really good way of relating current events to what we’re doing in class at the moment. It’s hard to think about what it must be like over there. Not only with the civil war, but with the idea that the government is censuring and manipulating what the people are able to see and read about on the Internet. It really shows how important and vital the Internet and other forms of communication can be in situations like the one in Syria. Nowadays, it seems like any type of social change is influenced through the Internet like Occupy Wall Street and aid/charity organizations that try to spread their message.
    Here’s a cool article you might be interested in: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/books/review/how-an-egyptian-revolution-began-on-facebook.html?pagewanted=all&_moc.semityn.www
    It’s from the NY Times and covers the Facebook revolution in Egypt and how social networking helped influence the Arab Spring.

  2. John-
    Very true, good post! Social media (and those lucky to have access) might just be the way to protect our First Amendment in this “age of technology.”

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