This week our focus group discussed the @Farah_Gazan Teen in Gaza article.
Based on our discussion we all agreed that social media has become closely linked with raising awareness and providing a first hand perspectives of current events around the world. People like @Farah_Gazan have become front line reporters using their cell phones to provide an intimate view point on what’s happening in their day-to-day lives.
We discussed how hash-tagging allowed the international community to monitor several different streams of related information. One example is the #Euromaidan hashtag associated with the Ukraine protests. With protesters constantly clashing with military and police protesters turned to the use of social media to maintain the movement. Interestingly Volya-Cable, a large internet provider in Ukraine announced that it would increase the speed of the Internet connection for its clients residing in the center of Kyiv and opened Internet access for protesters to use. The need to meet the increasing demand for internet access in conflict areas may be attributed in part to increased social media use among protesters, many of whom are students and youth.
We finished our conversation on the rise of social media in China which is promoting freedom of speech and the sharing of information. These types of actions are in heavy contrast to the types of information censorship we normally associate with China. The children of today’s global village are shaping the way we view and share information. They might just be the most accurate source of information we have.
Notable hash tags:
#askfarah #euromaidan #umbrellarevolution