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WeGov

Are Syria's Internet Outages Increasing in Frequency?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, May 15 2013

Visualization of the most recent power outage in Syria, courtesy of Arbor Networks

At 3:30 Wednesday morning, Jim Cowie received an automated text message: Syria's Internet was down, again. The eight hour outage today was the second Internet blackout in Syria since the start of May, and the fourth since last November. Many have speculated the blackouts are a result of deliberate government interference, but there is no consensus as to why and indeed no concrete evidence one way or the other.

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WeGov

Google Follows UN Lead In Recognizing Palestine

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, May 3 2013

Screengrab from Google Palestine

Palestinian Googlers might have noticed something different about their search engine homepage on Thursday. Google has changed the subheading of the Palestinian edition, Google.ps, from the “Palestinian Territories” to “Palestine.” This acknowledgement by the search giant follows the United Nations decision in November 2012 to recognize Palestine as a non-member state, in spite of objections by the US and Israel.

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WeGov

Iraq Shuts Down Aljazeera and 9 Other TV News Channels

BY Paul Mutter | Wednesday, May 1 2013

The BBC's correspondent in Iraq reporting on the suspension of 10 TV stations (image: screengrab)

The Iraqi government has banned eight television news stations from broadcasting in the country, accusing them of inciting sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. Read More

WeGov

Controversy Over Egyptian Comedian Facing Gov't Prosecution Morphs into a Twitter War

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, April 2 2013

Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef (credit: Hossam El Hamalawy / Flickr)

When the Egyptian prosecutor's office summoned a famous comedian and political satirist for questioning, accusing him of insulting the president and Islam, a war of words ensued on Twitter. On one side was the U.S. State Department, in the form of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, squaring off against the Egyptian president's office and Ikhwanweb, the Muslim Brotherhood's official media wing, which has an active Twitter account. On the sidelines ordinary 'netizens queued up to cheer and jeer. Read More

WeGov

Top Saudi Cleric Calls Twitter "Corrupt," As Government Plans to Monitor Chat Services

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, March 26 2013

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on an official U.S. visit at the White House (photo: United States Government Work)

Of all the Middle Eastern countries that have been touched by the Arab Spring, Saudi Arabia is known as one of the few where social media discourse has flourished, with Saudis from all walks of life sharing their experiences in the country on sites like Twitter, often under their own names.  That relatively open landscape may become more limited, after recent online outcry related to the criminal trials of several major political activists has brought forth a heated response from religious leaders and governmental officials.

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WeGov

After Karzai Speech, Afghans Call Out U.S. Journo's Analysis on Twitter

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, March 14 2013

Hamid Karzai at the 2008 World Economic Forum in Davos (image: World Economic Forum/Flickr)

A Daily Beast article that was critical of Afghan President Hamid Karzai earlier this week has sparked social media backlash from Afghanis, who say that the American author glossed over real political conditions in the country for the sake of an inflammatory argument. 

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WeGov

In Syria, Can Crowdmapping Technology Help Women Under Siege Find Justice?

BY Anna Therese Day | Tuesday, February 26 2013

Screenshot from Women Under Siege: Syria.

Human rights organizers utilize crowdmapping technology for the first time in history to document sexualized violence in Syria’s ongoing war. Read More

WeGov

Israel Has Two Pirate Parties That Hate Each Other

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, January 30 2013

In a 21st century digital echo of Monty Python's Life of Brian, Israel, a country of just over 7 million, has two Pirate Parties. One is called Pirate Party Israel and the other the Israel Pirate Party. Neither party recognizes the legitimacy of the other; nor do their founders have anything positive to say about one another. Read More

WeGov

Weekly Global Readings: Creativity

BY Lisa Goldman and Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, January 23 2013

This week's theme is "creativity," whether it be photos of graffiti by Syrian anti-regime activists or a social media platform that fosters creativity and collaboration between young Indians. Read More

WeGov

New Syria Website Creates a Web 2.0 Portrait of a Complex Conflict

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, January 14 2013

The new website Syria Deeply.

Syria Deeply is a new site that aims to broaden understanding of the Syrian conflict in the English-speaking world, through a multimedia portrait of its history and ongoing development. Read More