The strength and weakness of Internet activism
Fledgling Rebellion on Facebook Is Struck Down by Force in Egypt – washingtonpost.com For a short time Facebook became the center of a fledgling activist movement in Egypt. Over 74,000 people registered on a Facebook page devoted to this issue. It became the primary communications path for this group, and enabled its explosive growth. It also contained the seeds of its rapid unwinding and the arrest and beating of the creator of that page.To me this is yet another example of the “On the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog” syndrome. People feel so comfortable in front of their computers, they will say and do things they would fear to do in public or face to face. Facebook is in no way anonymous, nor does it claim to be. While there are many tools that could have enabled these people to operate and organize anonymously, there is no evidence that they used any of them.The Internet is very powerful, but it is also very public. People wishing to use it in repressive countries need to take special care to protect themselves and their visitors.