Instagram facilitates photo/ video sharing and social networking. Instagram community consists of over 400 million and is one of the largest ad platforms in the world. Access to this ad platform provides access to Instagram user data. Based on this, we acquired Instagram user data on Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh. When comparing these four countries, Bangladesh has the highest Instagram users and Myanmar has the lowest.
Cass Sunstein wrote Republic.com in 2001. I have the book. He updated it. The basic thesis was that people would enclose themselves in ideological bubbles and not hear the other side.
For many, the only thing new about what journalists write about mobiles in Myanmar would be Myanmar. But I was thinking about the hate speech angle, which is, without question, going to be extremely significant in that country. Mobiles and social media are not the causes of hate speech; they are the enablers and accelerators of hate speech. Like in the old Yugoslavia, there would have been a lot of enmity toward “the other” in Myanmar. But the whole thing was bottled up and suppressed, not because the military government was against hate speech, but against all speech.
In a fascinating piece of writing that seamlessly moves between the “real” world of the news and the “real” world of television drama, Maureen Dowd picks up and expands upon, a stray comment from President Obama: The murderous melee that ensues is redolent of President Obama’s provocative remark at a Democratic Party fund-raiser in New York, talking about the alarming aggressions flaring up around the world and alluding to the sulfurous videos of the social-media savvy ISIS fiends beheading American journalists. “If you watch the nightly news,” the president said, “it feels like the world is falling apart.” Trying to reassure Americans who feel frightened and helpless, he posited that “the truth of the matter is that the world has always been messy. In part, we’re just noticing now because of social media and our capacity to see in intimate detail the hardships that people are going through.” Now this is a fascinating research subject.
Eighteen members of Parliament from six different political parties, including the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party and the opposition National League for Democracy, assembled before start time this past weekend for an ICT awareness program organized by the Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (MIDO) where LIRNEasia supplied the content. They then stayed engaged throughout, asked many questions and asked for more. This was a unique experience that, in our view, bodes well for the country. The harmonious interactions among politicians from different parties were impressive. But even more was the genuine interest in learning about the changes that were coming to their country.
In a recent book chapter Nalaka Gunawardene and Chanuka Wattegama concluded that they had not, at least in Colombo in 2011.* Now the question is being asked again, in social media savvy Indonesia. But do retweets, likes and pageviews translate into support on election day? Conversations that start online radiate beyond the mostly urban, affluent users of social media – who are “social influencers in their environment, online and offline”, said Yose Rizal, the co-founder of PoliticaWave, an Indonesian social media monitoring group that is consulting for Jokowi’s campaign. Social media activism has already had off-line effects on the country’s politics.
I saw first hand the futility of the Mullahs’ efforts to prevent Internet access by Iranian youth when I was in Tehran at the height of the Arab Spring. But what is new is that it’s the Minister of Culture who is highlighting the hypocrisy and futility. According to “The Iran Primer,” a website and publication of the United States Institute of Peace, “Iran is one of the most tech-savvy societies in the developing world, with an estimated 28 million Internet users, led by youth,” the site says. “Iran boasts between 60,000 and 110,000 active blogs, one of the highest numbers in the Middle East, led by youth.” The Iranian authorities admit, reluctantly, that it is almost impossible to rein in Iranians who are eager to know about the outside world and know how to use alternative means to gain access to the web.
Appears Facebook will have competition in Asia. “Even if Facebook had permission, it’s probably too late,” says Wang Xiaofeng, a technology analyst at Forrester Research. “Weixin has all the functionality of Facebook and Twitter, and Chinese have already gotten used to it.” Weixin is the creation of Tencent, the Chinese Internet powerhouse known for its QQ instant messenger service and its popular online games. Tencent, which is publicly traded and is worth more than $100 billion on the Hong Kong exchange, is now seeking to strengthen that grip in social networking and expand into new areas, such as online payment and e-commerce.
How can a person be responsible for, and have his punishment decided by, what others do? But this seems to be the thinking of the Chinese Communist Party. “They want to sever those relationships and make the relationship on Weibo atomized, just like relations in Chinese society, where everyone is just a solitary atom,” Mr. Hao said. In May, his microblog accounts on Sina and other Chinese services were deleted without any explanation.
LIRNEasia uses Facebook as another window to its web content that is located primarily on the blog. Since the blog is searchable, it has never been a problem for us that Facebook search sucks. But that is not the case for people who use Facebook as their primary web interface. Now, Facebook is trying to make it easier to find that lost photo or restaurant recommendation and unearth other information buried within your social network with a tool it calls Graph Search. On Monday, the company will roll out the feature to its several hundred million users in the United States and to others who use the American English version of the site.
Complaints against the negative effects of social media (described as weapons of mass distraction) are not new. They had been leveled against the original social media: the coffee houses that were introduced in the 17th Century. Not everyone approved. As well as complaining that Christians had abandoned their traditional beer in favor of a foreign drink, critics worried that coffeehouses were keeping people from productive work. Among the first to sound the alarm, in 1677, was Anthony Wood, an Oxford academic.
Bangladesh has ceremoniously celebrated the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on May 17. The day also marked eight months of shutting down of YouTube in the country. Now the authorities have decided to take over the command control of social media. Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu at a media call on the same day said the government would take the help of ‘special technology’ to bar objectionable materials from being viewed on the social media websites. It would be easier to remove disagreeable contents from Facebook once this technology was put in place, said Inu.
An old folk tale describes a tired traveler in the desert, where the nights are cold. His camel is outside the tent. The camel wants the warmth of the tent. The traveler permits him to bring in the snout. By morning, the camel is in the tent and the traveler outside.
At LIRNEasia, we have used social media to drive traffic. As people spend more time on social media, they have to spend less time on something else. We were beginning to see the drop in blog readership (could have been caused by other things too). When we started tweeting and using Facebook, traffic picked up again. So we see the efficacy of social media.
In light of what’s going on in North Africa and Western Asia, the liberating potential of social media is very much on the agenda these days. Here is Clayton Shirky on the subject in a debate in Foreign Affairs: It would be impossible to tell the story of Philippine President Joseph Estrada’s 2000 downfall without talking about how texting allowed Filipinos to coordinate at a speed and on a scale not available with other media. Similarly, the supporters of Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero used text messaging to coordinate the 2004 ouster of the People’s Party in four days; anticommunist Moldovans used social media in 2009 to turn out 20,000 protesters in just 36 hours; the South Koreans who rallied against beef imports in 2008 took their grievances directly to the public, sharing text, photos, and video online, without needing permission from the state or help from professional media. Chinese anticorruption protesters use the instant-messaging service QQ the same way today. All these actions relied on the power of social media to synchronize the behavior of groups quickly, cheaply, and publicly, in ways that were unavailable as recently as a decade ago.
One of the things I always have to pause and explain when talking about our Teleuse@BOP work is why 100% of Filipinos at the BOP use SMS and some never use the mobiles to make a call. Now we find the Americans are beginning to emulate the Pinoys. Liza Colburn uses her cellphone constantly. She taps out her grocery lists, records voice memos, listens to music at the gym, tracks her caloric intake and posts frequent updates to her Twitter and Facebook accounts. The one thing she doesn’t use her cellphone for?