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.
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.”