Tag Archives: Facebook

Olympic city torched

What the hell is going on? The Olympic city is being torched at will, police sirens haven’t stop blowing for last 72 hours, it’s been three days that London is on fire and at the dawn of day four the prime minister cutting his vacation half way says everything necessary to restore order will be done.

For second time in less than a year the cosmopolitan capital of the world has been hit by widespread violence.

First it was the students protest during November 2010 and now the there is the widespread loot on the roads. As someone pointed out, “seems London is on sale” and hooligans are on a ball.

Powered by technology and with the humane cops(not to take anything away from the work they have done over the last three days)  trying all civilised ways to stop the thugs, the results are far from desired.

What is striking similar to both these incidents is the involvement of youngsters and use of technology.

During the students protests the venues and strategies were planned using facebook and twitter, this time around it’s the security that BBM( black berry messenger) provides which is giving the hooligans the edge so far.

The images so far show that the rioters are predominantly youngsters not belonging to a particular community. They are targeting shops and looting stuff beyond their reach. It’s an indication of desperation, with CUTS announced, job markets shrinking, studies becoming costly from next year and not much bright prospects in sight the so far comfortable and well taken care of youth is revolting; revolting in anger and violently beyond control.

As a twitter message doing round sums it up: “The Youth of the Middle Eastrise up for basic freedoms. The Youth of London rise up for a HD ready 42″ Plasma TV #londonriots”

Coming from India, where Cops are infamously famous for using force to tackle even a group of handful of people its amazing to see them not use stern force to bring the city to normal. The home secretary Theresa May even refused the use of water cannons and the top cop is saying bringing in military is no option. PM announced that the number of cops on the streets will go up to 16000 today.

But will mere presence of cops install fear in the minds of the hooligans who are being supplied legal advice guidelines as they go on a rampage.

Help and support pamphlets being distributed among the rioters. While
covering the student protests a masked person came and handed me a leaflet giving details of whom to contact in case the cops got hold of me and the basic do’s and don’ts.
Similarly on twitter last night images of similar advice pieces were doing rounds.

It’s about time unprecedented action is taken by the administration. For a while put the human rights and high moral grounds on back burner. Those causing the damage to the city, the people don’t deserve this kind of soft stand.

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People power in hands of military

The future of people’s power rests in the hands of military.

As digitization empowers people giving them chance to be heard across boundaries via twitter, facebook and blogs, it’s still gun power that calls the shot.

The difference between successful revolt and valiant attempt depends on which side the trigger is.

Given the present scenario of Middle East and African countries being an army man is the toughest job. To shoot your own people or defy the supreme command, the choice is not easy.

While in Tunisia and Egypt the guns remained silent, people became powerful ensuring that the balance tilted in their favour toppling the repressive regimens.

In Bahrain and Libya, forces marched to the regimens orders and the world witnessed mayhem on the streets of these countries.

War planes besieged parts of the Libyan capital on Monday according to news reports from Tripoli, killing many innocent people demanding their rights.

The question on the intent of armed forces arises on what will their stand be, for these rulers too were sometime men in uniform who were once worshipped. Will the present crop of military chiefs go their predecessor’s way?

Will the guardian of democracy, USA alter its stand and policy in the region? Will it still try to buy out the leadership by aids? These questions will have a significant bearing on the events in the coming years.

If the sentiments of people not only on the streets of Egypt, or Libya but also in states are something to go by, high time the superpower alters its stand.

Couple of days while at a news channel assisting some production work I received a few audience calls from US for a live show and a caller from Dallas said: “For how long will the administration spend my tax money on its fancy policies, we don’t pay taxes for wartime charity.”

High time these views are given a thought for the betterment of not only the revolt affected region but for US itself.

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Twitter takes to Live reporting

Twitter changed the way we look at news.

On Tuesday when District Judge Howard Riddle allowed scribes to tweet from the courtroom without disturbing the proceedings in a matter of minutes Twitteratti took over the conventional modes of reportage and for those few hours, Breaking news was like a passé.

The 140 characters did what the 24X7 news channels couldn’t, they broke into the courtrooms and it looked like this might be the beginning of something new.

The micro-blogging site gave a blow-by-blow account of proceedings sans lengthy arguments. Even before the websites and news channels could flash the breaking news the word was already out.

Anticipation was high on Thursday as Julian Assange stepped in the courtroom, steady stream of tweets followed and newspapers, broadcasters and websites set their tweet rolls in place.

The joy was short lived as the Judge barred tweets from courtroom.

Heather Brooke @newsbrooke posted an hour before the proceedings she posted ‘hearing rumours that twitter WONT be allowed #Assange’, it was true.

What a letdown and almost immediately there was boo for this ruling on tweets. Brooke later argued on twitter, when lawyers have laptops and blackberries, why not public? In open court what is difference is typing from pen and paper she questioned.

Well no great difference, just that typing reaches out to the world and in this case possibly to over 190 million Twitter users (source Tech Crunch).

Though barred Tweets for time being changed the way we looked at news and how news reached us.

In days ahead more might be in store.

I stumbled upon a year old article in TIME which described  How Twitter will change the way we live.

Tweets tick

The 140 characters allows one to be precise and be on spot.

It is smaller than 160 character SMS and this precisely makes tweeting easy and convenient to use from simplest of the cell phones. Upgrade to a smartphone and the experience enhances.

User innovation has fuelled tweeters growth.

Many of its features and applications like shortlink, hashtag, search, tweetpic etc were developed by the users and added freshness to the social networking site.

At the time the abovementioned article was published there weren’t many news websites using twitter, but now its first on twitter and then elsewhere.

Though twitter doen’t has the kind of following Facebook enjoys, but it indeed is a very effective and popular mean of communicating news.

If it’s not on Tweet it isn’t news.




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Social network censorship against Wikileaks by the US government

Mind your tweets and facebook posts students!The US state department of sent this warning across to the students of school of International and Public Affair, Columbia University reports Huffington post.

When the tweet landed in my tweet roll my first reaction was is that some joke.

a screen grab from Huffington post showing the email to students

It took me to the link and made me go through the entire piece.

Students were categorically warned not to post anything related to Wikileaks or else it could hamper their career prospects.


Has the US administration lost it? IS there anything earth shattering that these cables revealed which people did not knew in as many words before? What purpose will it serve to stop the information on few hundred tweets/facebook posts?   ‘Will Social networking censorship’ be the next big diplomatic step?

Varied thoughts ran to the mind space and I feel instead of doing any good they generated more interest and fuelled yet another debate.

Well this message too was ‘leaked’ and in no time there were over 56,000 blog posts and 288,000 web pages on google(At the time of filing this post). It spread like forest fire and started a leak bashing of its own. it only confirms that the leaks have hit the US administration hard and that too where it hurts.

How far is it fair to curb people’s choice of tweets/facebook post. You can’t and should not censor what occupies people’s mind space.

The reason mentioned for this ban is even stranger it says; “The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents.”

Well just a few days back Hilary Clinton declined to validate these documents and cables.

First it contradicts the secretary of state’s quote and secondly makes US a laughing-stock trying to curb something which has already reached beyond control.

As New York Times reports a few days back a faculty at the Columbia University Gary Sick, who has worked on the National Security Council during the Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations, posted some thoughts on his blog that his students are now presumably advised not to link to on their blogs or Twitter or Facebook accounts.

Wonder if there is a way to scan all tweets /FB meaagses.

However,with most federal government jobs require a background check, they might be able to curb some post but in my opinion the move will do more harm than favours.

Post script: Government workers asked not to read Cables (NYT)

Timing is the key folks, you have missed the bus.

Government Workers Ordered Not to Read

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