Stories about Citizen Media from July, 2012
Iran: Pro-Ahmadinejad Blogger Jailed
"What a world and judiciary we have, Ahmad was arrested just for writing and supporting his country's president" - Ahmad Shariat is behind bars. Other pro-Ahmadinejad bloggers have also been hounded by Tehran prosecutor’s office for criticizing associates of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Ecuador: Sarayaku.org, Blogging from the Amazon
José Santi, 27, is one of the administrators of the blog Sarayaku.org. The blog contains information about the Sarayaku people, who live in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and their fight against exploitation in their territory. In this interview José tells us about the blog and the case that his people has brought to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights against the state of Ecuador.
Spain: Fighting Catalonia's Wild Fires
The terrifying fires that continue to devastate the Catalan comarca of Alt Empordà have given way to the citizens' initiative #1Català1Arbre, launched on Twitter by Oriol Puig. The goal is to "create coordination, cooperation and a strong collective consciousness until the fires are extinguished."
China: Bizarre Power Triangle – Sina, the Government and Netizens
Ever since the advent of Internet in China, the Chinese government has either tried to embrace it or control it. The upsurge of social media in the country has introduced two other characters into the story-Chinese netizens and leading Internet company Sina. Find out more about this often bizarre power triangle.
Tanzania: ‘Don't Drown’ SMS-Based Maritime Early Warning System
"Tanzania has few if any rivals for numbers of boat deaths over the last couple of decades," says the founder of Usizame, Rachel Hamada. Usizame is a free SMS-based ferry check-in and alert system designed to help prevent marine accidents in Tanzania.
Democratic Republic of Congo: Rwanda Accused in North Kivu Violence
Since April 2012, North Kivu province in the eastern Congo has been destabilised by the March 23 movement (M23), comprised of fighters from the Tutsi-led National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP). M23 continues to cause enormous loss of life and massive population displacement within the province.
Angola: Citizens Demand Transparent Electoral Campaign
Angola's civil society is urging more transparency [pt] on the preparation of the coming general elections scheduled for August 31, 2012. One of the initiatives recently launched is an online petition [pt] demanding the parties leaders to take part of live debates on TV.
Argentina: Citizens Mobilize for Guide Dog Law
Blind and visually impaired people in Argentina are facing difficulties in accessing public spaces accompanied by a guide dog. Maximiliano Marc and other citizens have resorted to the web to lobby for a national law defending the rights of the visually impaired.
Tanzania: Newspaper Shut Down by Government
On 30 July, the government of Tanzania banned indefinitely a popular weekly investigative newspaper called Mwanahalisi. Tanzanians received the news with great astonishment, although the same newspaper was previously banned for three months in 2008.
Lebanon: ‘AlloFail’ Campaign Lobbies for Better Mobile Services
AlloFail is an initiative to improve the quality of mobile products and services in Lebanon which according to many, leaves much to be desired. See how a group of netizens are using social media to create awareness about the problems and usher change in this sector.
Guatemala: Mining Community Organizes Peoples’ Health Tribunal
For years, the community of San Miguel Ixtahuacán in Guatemala has been denouncing the negative consequences of Goldcorp's Marlin gold mine. On July 14 and 15, members of the community joined other international organizations to form a 'Peoples' International Health Tribunal.' In the first post in this two-part series, we introduce the Health Tribunal and also highlight the local efforts of the San Miguel Ixtahuacán community .
Wales: Imagining the Welsh Language Web
For the 600,000 speakers of Welsh the Internet represents a galaxy of new opportunities to use and see their language. But what exactly is 'y we Gymraeg' - the 'Welsh language web' - and how can it benefit the language's speakers?
Guinea: The Plight of Guineans Students in Syria
Kante Taliby writes on Guinée News about the plight of Guinean students in Syria [fr] : “I am a Guinean student on scholarship in Syria and I am married with one child. My wife, my child and I have not had a proper meal for almost a week now, and...
Russia: The ‘Mating Rituals’ of Bloggers and Governors
"We're not going to go to any more of these meetings, we've decided. From now on, let the suck-ups get together - the Nashists and the 'Stal'evtsy - but we won't be there" - A blogger reacts to a meeting with Penza's Governor.
Ethiopia: Messages of Solidarity from Christians for Muslims
Messages of unity from Ethiopian Christians have gone viral in the Ethiopian digital public as Ethiopian Muslims persistently kept their peaceful protest in a bid to end government’s meddling in their religious affairs. A multitude of Christians have changed their Facebook status by announcing their allegiance with Ethiopian Muslims.
Ukraine, Russia: Olympic Athletes’ Birthplace Controversy
The official website of the London 2012 Olympics turned out to be not the most reliable source of info on a number of foreign-born members of the Russian team. Demanding corrections, Ukrainian netizens launched a protest letter-writing campaign, and even the Foreign Minister got involved via Twitter.
Cuba: Yanet Bermoy Wins First Medal for Cuba in London Olympics
Cuban judoka, Yanet Bermoy has won the first medal for Cuba in the London 2012 Olympics. Cuba's blogosphere is buzzing about the win
Russia: Nepofigism, Free Crowdsourced Legal Consultation
The Russian online group "Nepofigism" offers a free legal consulting service. The project's creators designate no particular direction for the consulting. Their aim is to offer real help to people with any type of problem. The site is a space for professionals and ordinary Internet users with various legal and everyday problems.
‘Small’ Georgia Takes on ‘Big’ Russia with New Media
Georgia uses blogging and new media to project soft power in Russia. Even though most Georgians blog in Georgian, there is a sizable contingent of Russian speaking Georgians on Russia's most popular blogging platform LiveJournal. Georgia's government also follows a strategy of co-opting the Russian public through the smart use of new media.
Taiwan: Threat of Media Monopoly and Power Abuse
Taiwanese civil society is worried that the acquisition of cable TV services by Want Want China Times would result in political censorship, in particular on mainland China news. A recent staged scandal against a scholar leading the campaign against the acquisition has shown the public the devastating effect of media monopoly and abusive use of media power.
Mauritania: Diplomat Sets Himself Alight
A few minutes before Iftar, Hassan Ould Abba, a Mauritanian diplomat who used to work as an advisor at the Mauritanian Embassy in Kuwait, set himself alight in the district of Ksar, North of the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott. An ambulance rushed to rescue him, but he passed away upon arrival at hospital. Ahmed Ould Jedou summarizes online reactions.