September 6th, 2007
A fascinating story on yesterday’s edition of NPR’s The World focused on the rise of international video-sharing sites, and in particular on their political effects in Asia. In China, where the existence of a half-dozen video sites makes it difficult to police political content, people are uploading statements and using video to publicize political issues, including local ones. In Singapore, where political content is banned entirely on local television (I wonder how they handle satellite…), citizens are coming to depend on web video for basic content such as coverage of rallies and speeches. In both cases, the anonymity of uploading is key, since it helps to protect activists from retaliation.
Combine this story with recent coverage of the role of cell phones in organizing protests in Vietnam, China and The Philipines (terrific detail in that last one, btw), and we can see the new tools of political advocacy taking root where they might just do some good. Viva La Revolucion!