The revolution might be crowdsourced
By Kate Heartfield, Ottawa Citizen June 23, 2011
... Weak ties, of the sort that people make on Twitter and Facebook and blogs, can absolutely help them persevere in the face of danger. In the words of that great activist Steve Biko, "the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." The oppressor wants the oppressed to believe she's alone and helpless. The Internet tells her different.
A new project called Harass-Map in Egypt demonstrates the way communications technology can amplify traditional social activism. The reporting function at harassmap.org is itself empowering, even at the most pragmatic level; a person who submits a report about sexual violence or intimidation gets information about such matters as how to access social services.
But Rebecca Chiao, one of the volunteers behind the project, says the core function of HarassMap is community outreach. ...
So new media transform the isolating experiences of individuals into a social phenomenon that's harder to ignore. That in itself is powerful. The busy volunteers at HarassMap - which has no funding - have been approached by all kinds of government agencies and NGOs looking to use this information.
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