Twitter used for protest news-Bangkok Post

March 17, 2010

Twitter sees red and yellow

With political tensions on the rise a new form of malicious act has surfaced on social networking site Facebook targeted specifically at Thais.

This involves the creation of a political group, usually associated with the yellow PAD group, then getting lots of people to join. After a while, the admin lets the group die down and changes the group name to the other affiliation or in a couple of cases, one harbouring extreme republican views. The new group will then seem to have lots of members, many of whom are not aware and have to manually remove themselves from the group.

Meanwhile, the Twittersphere has exploded with many Tweeters, both foreign and local, taking pictures of the protests. A user by the name of @thaicam has set up a war room in a hotel right next to ground zero with volunteers taking pictures from within the crowd which he helps aggregate. @photo – journ joined the Redshirt boat trip from Ayuthaya tweeting pictures and GPS coordinates and pictures along the way.

Others help translate the speeches on stage into English. @yomeaw has kept up a vigil and provides up of the situation in Japanese.

All the major news agencies have taken to Twitter and especially the Nation @suthichai and the yellow ASTV Manager’s @tan – network seem to be out there in a race to beat the other with speed, often Tweeting news from the wires within seconds of each other.

The Twittersphere’s most famous netizen, @sugree, has created Android apps for everything from RedMob – a mashup with Red gathering locations on a map, a Red foot clapper that uses Android’s accelerometer and even an Android GT200 complete with detection cards that works with the same level of certainty as the real GT200 – none at all.

Then there are the real politicians. The red camp still seem to be Tweeting at full steam, probably thanks to a large well-organised team, but the government seems to have been too busy to Tweet at all. Only Finance Minister Korn Chartikavanij seems to have time to update his accounts on Twitter and Facebook.

This is the first political protest that is in a ToT 3G area and some professional journalists have used this to their advantage being able to upload higher resolution pictures and videos from within the field without having to resort to expensive satellite links.

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