Social Network "Revolutionaries" in Belarus
By Joseph D. Lienjdlien. Friday, August 5, 2011 7:18:59 AM
Belarus is a country that has its fair share of problems, and a great many of its citizens are unhappy with the rule of the authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.
On their independence day, July 3, a peaceful protest of the government was organized in which citizens merely gathered and clapped. Despite the completely non-agressive nature of the protests, over 400 people were violently arrested amongst tear gas and beatings.
Subsequently, a new plan was initiated to continue the protests by organizing people via the vKontakte social network (think of it as the Russian Facebook).
Despite the new strategy, almost 400 people were again detained -- but to add further insult to this, the government has been putting people on trial for posting notices on their vKontakte pages. The government has even gone as far as to set up fake proxy servers to catch people who may be using the social network to organize protests.
It is very interesting to see such examples of how the Web can be a powerful tool for real revolution, and yet it is also disheartening to see corrupt governments abuse them and exploit people who use them for such purposes.
The Tor system may provide a solution for people in such situations.