The Internet Hate Paradox

 

 

 

The advent of the internet was groundbreaking, allowing half the planet—from students to scientists—access to an unparalleled amount of information and resources acquired throughout the history of time. It has become an integral part of our lives, revolutionizing trade, finance, shopping, and banking, while changing the structure of communication and furthering globalization. Today, it is estimated that over4billion people have access to the internet. There are reportedly 6,000 tweets posted every second on Twitter, totaling a whopping 500 million tweets per day. YouTube claims that 400 hours of video are added to its site per minute.  Every hour, Facebook’s roughly 2.07 billion users world wide post around 30 million messages.

The internet has given a voice to those who previously had no means of expressing themselves to a wider audience. This phenomenon was first observed in 2009, when a Moldovan student protest was organized after cell phone coverage was halted by the government. This was considered the first “Twitter revolution.”3 After the disputed 2009 Iranian presidential elections, civilians took to the streets and were able to freely post hundreds of accounts, videos, and photos of clashes that were taking place. In 2011, Egyptians were able to organize, and garner public support, via Twitter in order to bring down the government. However, despite all of these positive uses, there are inherent dangers in the flow of information. This powerful engine of communication has also become a weapon of choice for extremist groups, crime networks, and terrorists, who use it to preach hate, spread dangerous ideologies and propaganda, and incite violence.

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Building Bridges in an Insane World – an interview

lchaim nir bom

By Sharon Rapoport

It was a cold November night and the Publisher for L’CHAIM and I met with Dr. Nir Boms at The French Gourmet in Pacific Beach. It had been a little under a month since the French terror attacks, and the after the non-stop media coverage the world seemed to have turned sour. Newscasters recommended that people watch out for stray packages in malls on Black Friday. Nations were reconsidering allowing entry of countless Syrian refugees, and social media was abuzz with satirical memes depicting every Muslim as a potential suicide bomber.

Yet here was this man, whom we knew little about, referencing metaphorical bridges building toward our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters. About tolerance, and assisting Syrian refugees … ideas which usually make sense, but in the wake of another radical Islamic terror attack, seemed awkward at best. View full post…

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New media empowers Iran opposition

Ynet News

In Iran, where Facebook has been blocked for two weeks, it was Twitter. Anyone following the recent elections in Iran and the clashes that ensued could not overlook the central role the internet and the new media played in the events, especially at the hands of the opposition.

In an interview to al-Jazeera, Saeed Shariati, one of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reformist opponents, said: “For us the internet is like the air force in a military operation. It bombards the enemy’s outposts and lays the ground for the invasion of the infantries – our activists, to win the battle.”

By this time Shariati has most likely been locked up and silenced.

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Net activism rattles Arabs

June 27th, 2008 

 

FACEBOOK, the popular social networking site, is becoming more than just a cyber meeting place as it turns into a powerful vehicle for social change.

Squeezing out MySpaceas the site of the moment and with 75million users (more than the population of most countries), it appears to be the most popular meeting place in the virtual world.

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