Facebook and Twitter Are Changing the Middle East 2/18/2011 9:42:59 AM
In an interview with WSJ's Alan Murray, social media expert Clay Shirky discusses the effect of Facebook, Twitter and other social media in the recent uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and what it could mean for the Middle East at large.
When Clay Shirky speaks, very smart people with resources and connections listen -and so should you!
He believes that Libya is the next domino to fall... ker-plunk!
Pull-quote from the Shirky interview: "Governments are NOT afraid of informed individuals, they're afraid of informed synchronous groups."
Hmm-m... that's Joy Cooper's biggest fear at Hallandale Beach City Hall.
New York Times video: Tunisia, After the Revolution
Libya teetering on the brink of great change...
I've been listening intently this morning to the 6 a.m. BBC World Service World Today broadcast and have heard a fascinating interview with a Libyan-born expert in the U.S. who actually knows Colonel Qadafi and his son, Sayf.
Following a BBC correspondent's report from Tripoli, scene of so much violence this weekend, and even now, the scene of sustained gunfire, the expert in the U.S. being interviewed was quite negative about the speech Qadhafi's son made today on Libyan TV, and what he characterized as the very strange behavior he exhibited.
He said that Libyan people would not respond well to the behavior or words, esp, his wild gesticulations during the speech as well as the very threatening manner, which made it seem like it had not been rehearsed.
Almost like the first time he saw it was when he was reading it.
See it for yourself.
BBC video of excerpts of Sayf al-Islam Qadafi speech:
The situation is moving very, very rapidly...
How will Libya transition into next phase of development?
Another expert said that it's his sense of things that with the eastern part of the country basically opting out of central control, Qadafi will be out of Libya within the next 24-36 hours because the army and police are starting to realize that they have no future if he is around.
He no longer is able to control things and "the genie is out and can't be put back into the lamp."
BBC's Middle east Protests web page:
BBC-TV video segments on http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12513941
Listen LIVE to BBC Radio's World Service here:
Facts on Libya at the CIA Factbook:
The Channel 4 News Snowmail that I received by email on Sunday afternoon, written by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, said as follows on Libya:
The Libya uprising is showing its differences and difficulties. While Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain have been playing out on television cameras, amateur video, mobile phones and Twitter the Libyan protests are much harder to follow. International journalists have not managed to get in the way they did with the others. Access to the internet is restricted, and websites such as YouTube which can upload video, and social networks seem to be disrupted. However the phones still work so we have been gathering testimony the old fashioned pre-internet way. Amid reports of hundreds of people now killed in the protests in and around Benghazi there is clearly huge determination by the demonstrators. We spoke to one man there who told us "A lot of people are dying in the streets. There are a lot of cars with troops from outside Libya, I think they are Nigerian, from African countries. They have guns and they shoot anyone they find on the streets...From the eastern part of Libya, the protesters have received some heavy artillery, they haven’t used it yet – they're telling us they are going to now. Nobody knows the number (of dead) because there are many hospitals – they go to four or five different hospitals. Most of them are being shot by snipers, from far away in the head or the chest by Africans. Most of them don’t speak good Arabic, they speak French." Obviously there is no way for us to check these claims on the snipers but they give you a good idea of what the talk is going around the protesters at least. Heavy gunfire could be heard in the background and the man had to break off to shout at friends to get inside.
And it is clear Tripoli is far from calm too. We spoke to a woman there who told us "I live in the east side of Tripoli but I cannot go out. My husband went out this morning, he said the streets were empty, people were scared. So I said, ok let my son go to the store but my son – he didn’t come back and I hear from people – I call them and they say why did you send him? People have gone to the court – I hope he didn’t go there because he’s young and very nervous. For two days I kept him in the house but I hope he didn’t go there. Oh my goodness, there’s something happening now – they are shooting I’m sorry I have to go.". So we are gathering what we can, and will have the latest. We will also be discussing what the West can and should do about Libya. The US ambassador Louis Susman was pretty unsubtle in a diplomatic way this morning with Andrew Marr - it was clear he thinks Britain has been wrong to deal with Gadaffi in a way that makes him seem like a legitimate leader.
Here are the two news segments they aired last night on Libya.
Channel4 News February 20, 2011 Libya unrest
Channel4 News February 20, 2011 Libya discussion