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General News    H2'ed 1/16/11

How Facebook Helped Fell the 23-Year-Old-Tunisian Dictatorship and Fuel the Jasmine Revolution

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Other internet users took notice and Facebook members from around the world adopted the blood stained Tunisian flag as their profile pictures. New pages began to spring up in solidarity of the Tunisian uprising, such as Facebook page Tunisian Riots: English Information which was devoted to providing English translations of report coming out of Tunisia and spreading information to the English speaking world. As of today, this 5-day-old page has more than 7000 daily post views.

Today, the Jasmine revolution, as some are calling it, continues to play out online. It may be said that it has even intensified since Ben Ali freed the internet just two days before he was officially ousted and Tunisians now have unprecedented access to the internet. The importance of the internet and social networking pages has been underscored further by the profile of the new users now posting -" the very government officials and police officers that the internet activists have been fighting. Today, this letter was posted by a Tunisian police officer on Alhiwar.net, presumably addressed to his colleagues, whom he could not reach any other way: "Listen to me - it's Rani. I resigned 3 days ago, along with others like me. I want to tell you that there the group assembly and senior officers in the interior are playing a big game. We get orders to wear civilian clothes and go out to destroy and steal; they gave them cars and even weapons. They scared them and told them if you don't do this, the people will kill you one by one, you will lose your job and you will be thrown into jail. They also have been giving large amounts of money, and it is required from the army or the people to arrest those who are involved in the game, I name them""

The officer goes on to provide a list of the culpable and signs off, as so many of the internet activists have done over the past weeks: "Talk to me. I am on Facebook".

With an announcement that Ben Ali has been officially ousted, the blood stained Tunisian flags have been replaced by images of the demonstrations that led to Ben Ali's departure on January 14th.

Tunisian Facebookers have turned to issues of next steps. A posting early today on Revolution Tunisienne was celebratory yet mutes and advised: "Our country is our home " we have made an important step, but do not get excited just yet! The priority now is to save the injured, protect public property and private property. Dear Friends, please calm your friends and call for caution and more importantly, do not be afraid for the future and do not panic, this people is really a Great People!"

 

 
Tawnia Sanford Ammar -Creative Commons -Reprint freely with attribution.

Sources:

Facebook Page, Tunisia Riots: English Information.  

Facebook Page, Revolution Tunisienne

Facebook,   nhar3la3ammar

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Tawnia Sanford Ammar is a Canadian, currently residing in Kiev, Ukraine. She works in the field of international development and has lived in Tunisia. She created and has been administrating the Facebook page: Tunisian Riots: English Information.
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