THE INTERNET : AN AGENT OF FREEDOM

The recent events in Iran following the highly disputed elections have been widely covered by the media all over the world. This has led to widespread indignation from across the globe at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose Government has embarked on a fatal crackdown on Iranians, despite him winning by almost two thirds of the vote. In spite of this, Iranians have not backed down from fighting for their democratic and civic rights and have taken to the streets vehemently demonstrating against this despot and his Government.

What is however worth noting is that despite the government’s efforts to conceal its citizens’ suffering from the eyes of the world through censorship of the media, the internet has come in as an effective tool to let the world in on what is happening on the ground. Shortly after Neda Agha-Soltan bled to death on a Tehran pavement on June 20, a 40-second video of her death found its way out into the internet limelight. The man who shot the video e-mailed the file to a nearby friend. Evading government censors, he quickly forwarded it to the Voice of America and five online friends in Europe, with a message that read, “Please let the world know”. A copy of this video spread almost instantly on YouTube before it got televised hours later on CNN, not to mention the endless tweets on Twitter. This poor lady was transformed on the Web from a nameless victim into an icon of the Iranian protest.

Iran is only one of about three dozen Governments, from China to Cuba, whose dictatorial governments try to stifle their people’s freedom of expression while perpetrating unthinkable atrocities. The internet is a behemoth of a network that is beyond the control of any individual Government, and it is impossible for any censor to win in an internet world. The internet has proven to be an effective smoke signal for those who desire to be heard and their afflictions attended to.

Living in a third world continent where corruption, politically instigated crimes, foiled elections, dictatorships and leaders who literally milk out their countries’ resources for personal gain is the norm, I can’t think of any other place in the world that needs such an avenue for exposing these evils than Africa. Many Governments are realizing the economic gains of having their people connected to the world and the Government here in Kenya is a good example, with the fibre optic cables being laid across the country and the promotion of digital villages. The people should however realize that this also gives them a chance to speak up against the ills in this country while enjoying the benefits of anonymity and ease of information dissipation that comes with the internet.

To contribute to the internet does not take any technical knowhow anymore. The tools available from Video Sharing websites like YouTube, to Social Websites like Twitter and Facebook, not to mention blogs give you more than sufficient tools to easily do this. This country is currently plagued by a lot of problems, from the election violence, to extra judicial killings, to rampant poverty and diseases of all kind. I believe it is high time we stopped waiting for NGOs and special repertoires to speak up for us. We now have a God-sent platform to do this. All it takes is a Phone with a photo/video camera or recorder and an internet modem and you are all set.

Make a difference today!

Advertisements

3 Responses to “THE INTERNET : AN AGENT OF FREEDOM”


  1. 1 Tony June 30, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Couldn’t agree more.

  2. 2 CB August 19, 2009 at 5:50 am

    There’s sth to crazy communist states. I mean look at Cuba and China. They have solid, effective, functional state funded medical and educational facilities, which many democracies don’t have. I mean being a mum, I’d rather know my child can get free medicine that works than access to facebook. I’m just saying.

    And while internet is useful, it’s dangerous as a news tool because many feeds are just not verifiable. Don’t get me wrong, I love twitter. But it’s hard to decipher opinion, bias and rumour from fact on that and other social networks. And even videos can be doctored with a little airbrush and some windows movie-maker splicing.

    I say milk the net, but tread with caution. It’s not always the panacea it claims to be 🙂

  3. 3 http://ninja-saga-hacker.blogspot.com November 28, 2013 at 4:26 am

    Hey exceptional blog! Does running a blog such as this require a lot of work?
    I have no understanding of programming however I had been
    hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, should you have any ideas or
    techniques for new blog owners please share.

    I know this is off topic nevertheless I simply wanted to ask.
    Many thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: