What happens when you live in a country which controls the media and culture while also allowing access to the Internet? Specifically, providing access to a site like Facebook which offers instant gratification such as the ability to set up your own discussion group in a matter of seconds.
I came across this interesting post from the SacredFacts blog which describes how “Facebook has become a virtual civil society in Syria. Many civic groups sprung up overnight and became popular with thousands; groups about preserving the old city, getting back the Golan Heights, supporting civil marriage, women’s groups, art associations, and you-name-it…” (quote from blogger Joshua Landis)
Check out the post. It provides a breakdown of the social and political experiences of Facebook users by country.
It’s remarkable that we (in the west) forget or not realize how simple features on a deceptively pointless website can have quite an impact. In a way, Facebook is another reminder of how we tend to take our freedom for granted.
I don’t mean to trivialize this phenomenon, but it reminds me a lot about the unnecessary fearful attitude corporations here in the west have of offering features on their intranet like employee blogging. Trust issues? Anarchy paranoia? Loss of control fears?