“Protests in Moldova Explode, With Help of Twitter”

This is just cool. I don’t mean to condone the violence or anything — far from it — but I love the fact that web tools like Twitter and Facebook are being appropriated as means for organizing in the 21st Century.

Flash mob protests = Brilliant. The web has changed everything, including how we get our news. It’s about time it changed how we protest too. The street protest is pretty much dead, or at least it was. In the 60s and 70s when it was guaranteed to get you on the nightly news &mdash and people still actually watched the nightly news to get their news — it was a useful tactic. Bush dismissed tens of thousands of war protesters across the country as a “focus group,” and the news media basically let him get away with that. That’s because these protests were your typical, predictable street protests and the media saw nothing else in them that was worth reporting on.

The protests in Moldova, like the Ukrainian Orange Revolution and the massive immigration protests here in the US in 2006, used Twitter, Facebook, and SMS heavily as organizing tools. And they seem to have made a far deeper impression than they would have had they not used these tools. Flash mob protests aren’t predictable. In April 2006, thousands of immigration protesters took to the streets in places where you would not expect it to be a hot-button issue: Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota. That certainly was not predictable either. These tools allow us to widen our reach and distribute our message like never before, and they’re reshaping the street protest and keeping it relevant.

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