You know how we often say that the major media will write stories to fit a pre-decided template and if the news does not fit that template, they will change it until it does?
You will recall Tunisia overthrew their oppressive leadership, and the news media ran with the story that Twitter was responsible. After all, protestors used Twitter to start a flash mob-type riot. Except, in reality, only some protestors used Twitter. Most did not. We would not attribute the October 1917 revolution to the success of the Molotov cocktail.
When protestors gathered in Egypt, the news media ran with the same idea: that Twitter and Facebook will be used to take down another government. This is because the template was decided: and if the news fits the template, they can recycle all sorts of pablum they think they understand and pass it off as news.
Problem was that Twitter and Facebook were not used that much in Egypt. In fact, the Egyptian government shut it all down. Protestors tried to use their cell phones to maintain communications with outside friends and sympaticos, but eventually this communication was blocked, too. Heck, you will certainly recall that the Egyptian police even began to round up journalists, confiscate sat phones, and basically stop any outside communications that involved the protests. They were so thorough at this, indeed, that for a couple of days no real information was coming out. The poor television news services had to rerun old protest footage just to have something above the Breaking News bumper sticker. All the social media activity was done outside of Egypt, with a high degree of speculation as to what was happening.
Now Mubārak is gone from Egypt. The people, for the moment, are victorious. And naturally, CNN runs with the headline: Egyptian president steps down amidst groundbreaking digital revolution.
Never mind all that about them shutting down Facebook and Twitter; CNN has decided that Facebook and Twitter were instrumental in the collapse of the Egyptian presidency. And it was truly groundbreaking. Although, never mind all that about Tunisia doing it weeks before. And, though unsuccessful, the pioneering efforts of Iranians who attempted the same concept over a year ago.
Read the short story linked above. Here is the summary: Mubārak is out, and Twitter was busy. The entire revolution was supported by social media like Facebook. The government shut down the entire internet, although the rest of the world continued to talk about the events. But people still managed to get out a tweet here and there. This is probably the first time in history that an event was captured live. Even YouTube and Al Jazeera got involved. Flickr was used with YouTube to bring pictures around the world. Does this sound at all like thorough, accurate reporting? Or does it sound like some editors bullet point list fleshed out with as many hip internet phrases as possible? And what is this crap about this being the first event captured beginning to end live? The Czar can think of many more examples dating back to well before the writer of this piece was born. Why, he might even suggest to CNN that the entire event was not captured livefar from it, as we already know that a couple of days went by without any real information. Even our powerful intelligence community shows they have little idea what is really happening. If Twitter got the whole event live, perhaps someone could tweet the locations of the missing organizers who vanished from the streets. There is still a lot we do not know.
Now read the last paragraph, which should be summarizing why the reporter is right:
Without a doubt, social media, mobile devices and the web have brought the stories from Egypt closer to home. And conversely, the events in Egypt have shown the strength of these tools for both organizing and informing people. The Egyptian people and reporters alike found ways to share their messages even when the government tried to stop them. Using VPN, proxy sites, third party apps and other tools, they were able to continue sharing news with those of us on the outside. And at the same time, the rest of the world found ways to use tech to curate and disseminate information.
Well, yeah, but what is the point? This is hardly a summary or a conclusion: it is simply an in-line list of things that might or might not be involved, and a way to squeeze in more techy terms like VPN, proxies, and apps. And no wrap-up? This story endswhy, almost as if some editor recycled some bullshit summary out of a notebook and pasted it into the piece.
Two things are clear: the writer/editor combination were caught off guard by the events and had to put out something, under the assumption that the reader is as surprised by the events as they were (and we are not surprised); and two, they still do not understand all the things they are writing about here. This is old news, folks. And do not assume were are as surprised by this as you all were.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.