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Zimbabwe Makes Arrest Over Facebook Comment

Unknown Lamer posted more than 3 years ago | from the voluntary-registration dept.

Censorship 100

inasity_rules writes "It seems using Facebook/Twitter to try overthrowing a corrupt government can backfire a bit, especially if they are expecting it. In Zimbabwe your Facebook posts can get you arrested. Probably for anything up to and including treason."

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In the Facebook age (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385076)

In the Facebook age, dissidents have Prime Ministers arrested. I think this PM should be careful.

Re:In the Facebook age (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385214)

In Zimbabwe the President has a private army of dissidents with whom he causes land and economic reforms.

Should there be a protest movement, they will be fighting in the streets against ZANU-PF and the ZNLWVA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZANU-PF [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimbabwe_National_Liberation_War_Veterans_Association [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reform_in_Zimbabwe [wikipedia.org]

Re:In the Facebook age (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385578)

In the Facebook age, dissidents have Prime Ministers arrested. I think this PM should be careful.

The "facebook age" (seriously, no!) has also made it much easier for oppressive regimes to figure out what dissidents are up to, who they associate with, etc. I'm not terribly amazed that this is happening, nor would I be amazed if this becomes standard procedure for some countries.

Aside from that, I think that it's all too easy to say that from a few facebook posts governments and dictators will fall. "Every civilization is three meals away from revolution" is perhaps more appropriate, but that doesn't mean the revolution is a success. Have a look at the current situation in Libya. That one is going to take a little while, and it's going to be very uncivilized compared to clicking "LIKE +1".

Ever wonder why we don't have more revolutions? My country is currently going through an economic crisis, has no real government to speak of, and by this time next year I'm going to be about 6% poorer effectively than I am now (by estimation). So the question is, why aren't we revolting in the streets? Is it because we're civilized and polite? Or is it because we're entertained by mass media, well fed by our supermarkets, and we've still got a roof over our head and a relatively well maintained (false) sense of security. (Note that I am not advocating a revolution, merely pointing something out)

It's nice that terrible regimes not prepared for the Internet now fall with the aid of it, but it's not "because of the Internet" that this is happening. It's because the people were fed up, and with or without the Internet they would've found a way to make it happen.

Re:In the Facebook age (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386564)

Yep, it's not Facebook despite the current habit of the media to link Facebook with everything (have they linked it with cancer yet? ;) ). Egypt has to import lots of wheat. Russia and India banned exports. Australia had a bad crop.

So wheat shortage = expensive bread = lots of hungry unhappy people. But just hungry unhappy people doesn't mean revolution.

Revolutions happens when the hungry unhappy people think the rulers are to blame for the problem, and then they become hungry very angry people. You can be starving and not blame the ruler/Government for the situation.

http://theweek.com/article/index/212433/fighting-over-food [theweek.com]

Re:In the Facebook age (2)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386766)

In the Facebook age, silly naive people will get caught. The more reliant the become on computers finding conspiracies for them, the more subject to misinformation and obfuscation.

The reality is, you should only use open social networking when you are ready to go. Up until then more direct means of communication are safer.

If your live in a troubled country use external sources and people to pass on your information to a broader audience. Now it is global activism, so people can act locally via globally sourced support.

Revolutions occur because people no longer believe they are alone and without support.

Re:In the Facebook age (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386842)

This part of the article was particularly troubling, however: "Meanwhile there are signs that the Mugabe regime intends to increase its ability to spy on innocent civilians. As we reported on SW Radio Africa this week, the government is allegedly moving at a ‘very fast pace’ with the construction of a secret electronic eavesdropping complex just outside Harare. A trusted source said that the Chinese, who are building the complex, have a system that enables most security agencies to ‘spy at will’ on emails, website visits, social networking sessions, and telephone calls made over the internet on a massive scale."

So we have the United States producing and exporting technology like Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter that increase connectivity and the free flow of information, and with it, political dissent. And the Chinese taking the lead in trying to monitor, control and censor the flow of political ideas, and if the article is to be believed, they're now exporting this technology.

Re:In the Facebook age (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386512)

In Soviet Facebook age...

oh, nevermind

In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (5, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385128)

In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested, heck nothing can too. Zimbabwe does not exactly have what we call the rule of law.

Re:In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (1)

daitengu (172781) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385168)

Careful, they're going to try to extradite you for that comment.

Re:In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385180)

So much this.

Mugabe is up to his nostrils in spilled blood over the past 40 years.

Here's to hoping "Egypt" happens there. But I suspect it would be more like Libya.

--
BMO

Re:In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (2, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385230)

And because it's Sub Saharan Africa, there'll be no talk of No Fly Zones, international intervention will come, if it ever came, through an neighbor invading them, like Ethiopia did to Somalia.

Re:In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385500)

Unfortunately the South African government, the only local player strong enough to get the job done, is best buddies with Mugabe's government. Part of this is history, and the larger part is that SA is afraid of millions of refugees streaming across the border looking for help.

Kind of like how China's relationship with North Korea.

And forget about getting the US involved. Outside of sanctions there's nothing much that can be done.
FFS, we can't even get Gbago out of Ivory Coast by offering him a professorship in the US (true!).

--
BMO

Re:In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388244)

And because it's Sub Saharan Africa, there'll be no talk of No Fly Zones, international intervention will come, if it ever came, through an neighbor invading them, like Ethiopia did to Somalia.

A "No fly zone" isn't practical unless you have the air power to make it so. We don't, really.

The country is landlocked, so we'd have to get permission from one or more of its neighbors to use carrier-based aircraft to enforce a no-fly zone.

There are no convenient airbases in a neighboring country to fly planes out of, for either the USA or any European country.

Net effect: if they want to slaughter each other by the millions, there's not much the West can do about it.

That said, I doubt a no-fly zone would make much difference - I don't think Zimbabwe has enough operational military aircraft (if it has any left at all) to do anything meaningful to suppress a rebellion. What happens in Zimbabwe, one way or another, will be settled with rifles, not airstrikes.

Re:In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35389076)

Actually a Zimbabwe no-fly zone is easy to implement, all you need is a good old chap with a shotgun and some birdshot to take care of their 4 carrier pigeons. Zim needs a no-drive zone, which won't happen for the reasons given both above and below.

Re:In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (1, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385686)

Zimbabwe does not exactly have what we call the rule of law.

Reading today's Wall Street Journal, it appears that "what we call rule of law" is pretty goddamn rare. I think it was seen briefly in Finland but that might just be a rumor. I don't think it's been seen in an English-speaking country for at least 30 years.

But at least we have Zimbabwe to look down on. And they get to look down on Somalia.

By the way, considering Somalia doesn't seem to have any government, I guess that'll be the place John Galt moves to. I wish that poofter luck.

Re:In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386552)

i'm glad that you've determined from on yonder ivory tower that there is no rule of law as you see fit to call it

Re:In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388478)

i'm glad that you've determined from on yonder ivory tower that there is no rule of law as you see fit to call it

As I see fit? Was I the first to use the term?

And I didn't say there was "no rule of law", I said it was rare. Remember, the "rule of law" means that the rulers obey the law, too.

And you know something, you get a pretty good view from up in a tower, ivory or not. You can see far.

Re:In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388094)

poofter

The 1970's called, they wan't their homophobic slur back.

Re:In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388444)

The 1970's called, they wan't their homophobic slur back.

I don't use "poofter" in the good gay way. I use it the same way as "fag" and does not refer to sexual orientation.

If you look in the Dictionary of Slang, you'll find the second definition to be "2. A soft, feeble person. Derog."

You can fairly accuse me of a lot of things, but homophobia is not one of them.

Re:In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388990)

By the way, considering Somalia doesn't seem to have any government, I guess that'll be the place John Galt moves to. I wish that poofter luck.

Somalia's problem isn't lack of government, so much as several competing governments with a healthy dose of external meddling. [wikipedia.org]

Re:In Zimbabwe anything can get you arrested (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385738)

Would it be any better if he was arrested under rule of law? Laws can be pretty nasty at times.

In fact, it may well be that there was a law - TFA says that the crime in question is "subverting a constitutional government" and "advocating or attempting to take-over government by unconstitutional means" (as an aside, have you noticed how dictatorial regimes love the word "constitution" almost as much as "people's"? Soviets also did that). I wouldn't be surprised if there is indeed a law in Zimbabwe that bans that. We know that there is such a law in China, for example.

"Four score and seven years ago," (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385142)

etc, etc, etc... "that the government of the Facebook, by the Facebook, for the Facebook, shall not perish from the earth."

Excuse? (2)

edjs (1043612) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385148)

What, they still need an excuse to arrest you in Zimbabwe?

Re:Excuse? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385182)

Yes, the excuse is useful for consumption by foreign news media.

Re:Excuse? (2)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385590)

How is the excuse "because he posted anti-government sentiment on facebook" better than "to tell you the reason would compromise national security" (eg no real excuse at all)???

Re:Excuse? (2)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385534)

No. But it sure does make for some serious kick-ass propaganda about the evil whites trying to kill the blacks, and make them sterile.

I'm sure it'll be woven into something close to if not that soon.

Here is what i say about this : (-1, Offtopic)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385172)

Ini mini wu wu ... wu wu ... wuwuzange .... imaani lenzende ...

i learned it from discovery channel. long ago. some random guy in africa was repeating it over and over in the jingles. i also started to say it while in the kitchen, in the loo, doing random things.

They can anywhere. (2)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385174)

Go make some crazy-ass threats to some public figure on your facebook and see what happens. Facebook posts are no different than any other forum for speech - if you post shit that's illegal in your country, they can arrest you.

Re:They can anywhere. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385216)

Do you believe that not enough speech is illegal in your country?

Re:They can anywhere. (3, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385238)

If I post "Obama should be over thrown, lets have a protest over X Saturday", the Secret Service won't come, they won't arrest me.

If I live in Zimbabwe and post "Overthrow ZANU-PF, lets have a protest Saturday!" I'll be arrested or killed.

Re:They can anywhere. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385298)

Right. If you post "let's go kill so and so, we'll do it by such and such on such and such a date!" someone will come find you. As I said, saying something illegal (in your country) will get you into trouble. I guess I'm saying "yeah, and...?".

Re:They can anywhere. (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385766)

Oppression codified as law does not stop being oppressive. Dissidents in Soviet Union were also imprisoned and otherwise suppressed by the letter of the law; but it was still evil. So is this.

Re:They can anywhere. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386298)

Absolutely it is. But again, what does facebook have to do with it?

Patent: Oppressing your citizens. Oops, that's taken.

Patent: Oppressing your citzens...using the Internet!

Re:They can anywhere. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386820)

If I went out and murdered some people and got arrested, I could yell out that I was being oppressed. There is a wide gray line here. It is the "job of the judges" and a party of "peers" to determine if an action is an infraction. Yelling, "BOMB!" in a crowded area like the classic example of a movie theater or a ferry or bus should be taken seriously. If someone can not control themselves in such a time or place they fail at taking personal responsibility, or they don't mind any consequences of their actions.

By saying that, "Me and my 2 friends are going out to a public park at $SomeDay $SomeTime with our sniper rifles to pick off some visitors." That could easily be misunderstood. It may raise a flag, but unless something happens there, no one will find it and proactively enforce a law that hasn't been broken yet. As an example many orphans that get adopted into "families" of known child abusers again and again. -- Is a much larger problem than idle threats, but the government still does not work to clean up such systems.

Re:They can anywhere. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386924)

You're muddying the waters by coming up with examples that have absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand. Yes, not all laws limiting freedom of speech are evil. But this particular case is clear-cut: it is political censorship. RTFA or something, it actually has the precise quote of what the guy wrote.

Re:They can anywhere. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386974)

According to Richard Posner [slate.com]

"The rule of law means that judges decide cases 'without respect of persons,' that is, without considering the social status, attractiveness, etc. of the parties or their lawyers."

In some states, the laws are so many and, and so contradictory, and so onerous that "every citizen is guilty of something." Dissidents are selected for prosecution, and convicted according the law. But because the arrest and indictment are contingent upon the social and political status of the accused, the process does not fit within Posner's conception.

Of course, others define "rule of law" more loosely and elide over concepts of justice and fairness. These people are shallow.

Re:They can anywhere. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387048)

In some states, the laws are so many and, and so contradictory, and so onerous that "every citizen is guilty of something." Dissidents are selected for prosecution, and convicted according the law. But because the arrest and indictment are contingent upon the social and political status of the accused, the process does not fit within Posner's conception.

This is a valid point when dissidents are convicted or otherwise oppressed according to law that does not directly relate to their activity as dissidents. E.g. in late USSR, they would often be charged with economic crimes, and where that was unfeasible, simply declared insane ("Surely we live in the best country in the world, as everyone knows; and yet this man says this is not true - who but insane would say so?"). That, indeed, is not rule of law.

On the other hand, there are situations where dissidents are persecuted under law which explicitly makes the actions that make them dissidents - their participation in political process not in approved way - a crime. For example, the infamous Soviet article 58 [wikipedia.org] , which made "anti-Soviet propaganda and agitation" illegal - that is a law that clearly and explicitly targets public political dissent. When such law is consistently applied - as it largely was in the USSR - you still do have rule of law. A modern example of the same is North Korea, and - to a lesser extent - the various "lèse majesté" laws.

From TFA, it seems that Zimbabwe also has a law along these lines, only deliberately more vague, and that's what they used in this case.

Re:They can anywhere. (0)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385304)

But that's his point.

The Obama comment is okay, because it is not illegal. The Zimbabwe comment is out of bounds, because it is illegal. Respect the rule of law, and if you don't like the rules, work within the existing legal structure to change them.

Re:They can anywhere. (4, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385328)

Or just be prepared to face the consequences of your actions.

I mean, working within the system hasn't exactly always been a meaningful option.

Re:They can anywhere. (5, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385384)

What existing legal structure? You do realize Mugabe did not win the recent elections but will not step down, right?

Wake up guys and look north (1, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385692)

He had to give way on a few things in the end and the former opposition is running a chunk of his government. What you guys STILL haven't woken up to despite all the bloodshed elsewhere, it that Mugabe is not yet entirely the sort of monster running half a dozen other places in Africa where it was not politically expedient to criticise them.
He'll probably lose more and more support from his government and police until he is gone. All those others in Libya etc are not being moved without a lot of bloodshed.

Re:They can anywhere. (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385536)

Legality has nothing to do with Zimbabwe, Mugabe lost the election but remains in power because of the mob.

Before that, he effected "land reform" with the mob.

The poster said this can happen anywhere, the fact is it won't happen "anywhere", because in many places the mob doesn't rule.

Re:They can anywhere. (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385544)

What rule of law is there in Zimbabwe?

There hasn't been the rule of law since it was Rhodesia and even then it was pretty piss-poor (Mugabe learned from his masters).

--
BMO

Re:They can anywhere. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385560)

The Zimbabwe comment is out of bounds, because it is illegal. Respect the rule of law

Zimbabwe is ruled by whim not by law.

Re:They can anywhere. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386006)

No, it is ruled by law. It does not have "rule of law".
"Rule by law" versus "rule of law". The distinction is all the difference in the world.

you're joking right? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386572)

how, pray tell, do you suggest someone with no power "work within the legal structure" of zimbabwe to challenge a despot with all the power, and who respects no legal structure?

please tell me you are joking and that you are not a complete dimwit

Re:you're joking right? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386824)

Why? Why must I make you comfortable? Why is important that you leave this thread with your illusions intact, while I am left with two disturbing insights?

1. Some people lack empathy, and consequently any appreciation for human rights
2. Some people don't understand my humor.

Yes. Yes. I was joking. Is it really so hard to tell?

Re:you're joking right? (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387086)

if an airport security guy asks me if i have any bombs and i go "yeah, in my underwear," i'm joking. but no one is going to laugh

context my friend, learn the value of context

in another context, you'd be the height of dry wit. here, there are no clues to tell if you are joking or not, and there are a LOT of dumb, serious posts

Re:They can anywhere. (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385414)

No, you have the same right to say "Obama sucks!" in Zimbabwe as you do in the US!

Re:They can anywhere. (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386858)

No but if you post like a few secret documents, or are in the wrong place at the wrong time you get flown to a foreign country, stuck into a hole of a cell, get tortured, with virtually no contact to the outside world, you barely get a lawyer if you are US-citizen. And you get charged for treason with the perspective of death penalty, or you don't get a charged with anything if you are not an US-citizen.*
There is definitely something wrong in the US too (namely the right to a fair trial), and saying it's not as bad as Zimbabwe doesn't make it better.

* see Taxi to the Dark Side [imdb.com]

Re:They can anywhere. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385752)

He didn't make "crazy ass threats", though. He basically told "dictators should remember what happened in Egypt and Tunisia" to a government official. It seems that, in recognizing that comment is somehow threatening to them, the government has implicitly recognized that it is dictatorial.

Re:They can anywhere. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386368)

He didn't make "crazy ass threats", though. He basically told "dictators should remember what happened in Egypt and Tunisia" to a government official. It seems that, in recognizing that comment is somehow threatening to them, the government has implicitly recognized that it is dictatorial.

Dummiessaywhat.

Re:They can anywhere. (1)

Unkyjar (1148699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385804)

âoeI am overwhelmed, I donâ(TM)t want to say Mr. or PM what happened in Egypt is sending shockwaves to dictators around the world. No weapon but unity of purpose worth emulating, hey.â ....yeah, he used some really "crazy-ass threats".

Re:They can anywhere. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386308)

That wasn't my point. My point was more of a "so what?". Zimbabwe is a shithole, who didn't know that. If you post anything the government doesn't like, be it on facebook, in spraypaint on your house, or just talking to 50 of your best buddies the government will come after you. Facebook is a form of speech, and speech has consequences, even righteous or sometimes even inoffensive seeming speech. If your government doesn't like your speech (threats in the US, hate speech in Europe, ...anything anti-government in much of the world) they could take action.

Facebook? (2)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385192)

I think that publicly trying to overthrow your government might have consequences, whatever the forum.

Re:Facebook? (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385266)

There were just 8 years of "Impeach Bush" and millions of people not being arrested shows there are no consequences in the United States for comments that don't involve bodily harm to the President or Vice President.

Re:Facebook? (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385310)

So..third world shitholes don't have freedom of speech. Quick, call Channel 6 News, we need to get the word out!!!!

Re:Facebook? (1)

thaig (415462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387184)

It wasn't always a shithole and some people in various first world countries helped to become that way but of course how many know that?

The Russians, Chinese and North Koreans also helped of course.

It's people like you who ensure that the idea "Africa is a shithole" becomes fact even if it wasn't true to start with because your low expectations cause you to fail to act or cause your governments to do deals with the bad guys "because it's a shithole anyway and it doesn't matter". In the nicest and most polite sense: stuff you.

Re:Facebook? (4, Interesting)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385526)

I'll give you that Bush was more tolerant than Mugabe, for whatever that is worth. But if you think there were "no consequences" and nobody got arrested you're mistaken.

http://www.mountainx.com/news/2007/activist_arrested_after_displaying_impeach_bush_cheney_sign_on_overpass [mountainx.com]

http://forum.davidicke.com/showthread.php?t=9167 [davidicke.com]

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x2927369 [democratic...ground.com]

http://www.progressive.org/mag_wx081607 [progressive.org]

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6702 [globalresearch.ca]

http://warisacrime.org/node/30068 [warisacrime.org]

Re:Facebook? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385548)

None of those posts have anything to do with social media.

Re:Facebook? (2)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385936)

Ummm. Using public property for your personal political messages? I didn't think that was legal, actually. So, if Google put up ads on overpasses, would you be okay with it? No, I suppose - because Google is a corporation.

Ok, so who DOES get to place their own notices on public property? Well, I didn't think anyone was allowed to, generally.

Getting arrested for breaking the law is hardly new or hardly news; just because it so happens that they were breaking the law while being mad at Bush...

I didn't read all the links. If there was one in there where they weren't actually breaking the law and actually were arrested for their actual protected free speech, my point may be moot. :)

Re:Facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386576)

The reason for these arrests was political. Nobody gets arrested normally for these same activities. Microsoft, Google, and lots of smaller players make a ton of money from public spaces. Corporations aren't being arrested for doing so nor are those putting up signs on public property. Fact is people are being arrested for political reasons regardless of the law under which they are arrested. Selective use of the law is political.

Yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385244)

Zimbabwe government 'Liked This!'

Why should Facebook posts be exempt from the law? (1)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385296)

I'm pretty sure you can be arrested in America as well for posting illegal things on your Facebook page. Try posting a threat to the President of the United States on your Facebook page and you'll probably get arrested in the USA.

There's nothing sacred about Facebook. Even high school students have gotten into trouble for Facebook postings about school staff.

Re:Why should Facebook posts be exempt from the la (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385564)

Aside from threatening to harm people, you can actually say a lot in the US that you can't in other countries. Heck, John Galliano wouldn't have been charged with a thing for all the crazy pro nazi and anti semetic things he said but he had to say them in France where it's illegal. Heck most Libertarians say worst things about taking down the government and rioting then what this Zimbabwe guy did.

Re:Why should Facebook posts be exempt from the la (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386806)

You don't know what Libertarian means do you? No... wait. Don't answer that. I can't handle the derp today.

Re:Why should Facebook posts be exempt from the la (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385602)

We're full of false equivalence here today, aren't we?

There was no direct threat to Mugabe. There was a mention of an "egypt" happening to Zimbabwe. If you posted the exact same thing on your facebook in the US and just substituted, you'd not raise a single eyebrow.

Free Republic is full of people like this. When is the last time a freeper was arrested for what he said?

Never. Because political speech is the most protected speech in the US.

Posting a valid, direct, threat to assassinate Obama *will* get you arrested, but that's not political speech. That's conspiracy to commit murder.

>comparing high school hijinks to political speech

Trollercoaster.jpg.

--
BMO

Not too bright (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385394)

Isn't there any way of defacing the PM's facebook page anonymously?

in communist china we facebook you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385446)

in communist china we facebook you!

robert mugabe was the leader of a revolution (0)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385458)

to throw off tyranny and start a new, better society.

he wound up creating just about the poorest country on the planet, causing millions to migrate so that they could find food to eat, while his political opponents are brutally oppressed.

remember that while you are chanting 'free libya'

Re:robert mugabe was the leader of a revolution (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385646)

Remember that Moammar "threw off" tyrrany to declare his own dictatorship.

Also remember that Eastern Europe threw off tyrranies to create actual democracies. Just because a revolution happens doesn't mean that the end result is predictable.

Remember that when you're posting stupid shit on slashdot.

--
BMO

Re:robert mugabe was the leader of a revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385824)

Just because a revolution happens doesn't mean that the end result is predictable.

I kinda think that was decora's point, it works both ways ya know.

Re:robert mugabe was the leader of a revolution (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385884)

There's a difference between "results are not guaranteed" and comparing the what happened in Zimbabwe to what's going on right now in Libya and then saying "be careful what you wish for" as if warning against it.

The only reasons to post something like that are if you support the incumbent government, or you just don't know any better. Because that's the exact argument that Moammar and the house of Al Saud are using against any kind of velvet revolution.

"It'll be chaos!" - scare mongering.

IOW, "we may be the devil, but we're the devil you know, not the one you don't"

Yes, everyone knows that you might not get what you want, but not trying means guaranteeing you won't get what you want.

So there.

--
BMO

Re:robert mugabe was the leader of a revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386500)

I think you're reading too much into it.

Granted, he could have phrased it better.

"The only reasons to post something like that" (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386550)

wow.

you accuse me of a lot of things, with no evidence.

it is very easy for rich kids with nice jobs to scream free libya on the internet.

they are not the ones who will have to go die to make it happen.

Re:"The only reasons to post something like that" (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386814)

The thing is that I heard the "there will be chaos if we don't govern" line on NPR and the BBC this previous morning from the Saudis.

That's why I was struck by your argument.

And speaking of painting with broad brushes as you have just painted me and people who are "cheering" on the Libyan resistance:

Not a rich kid.

Just someone who lived through the cold war and saw Solidarity topple the Polish government.

--
BMO

Re:"The only reasons to post something like that" (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386966)

Why did Solidarity succeed while other revoultions just made things worse?

Re:"The only reasons to post something like that" (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387550)

I don't know. Why don't you do your own research.

Write a book. Collect money.

The fact is that your continued defending of the Mugabe regime sounds like you're a ZANU-PF goon.

This is the last I will reply to you as a result. Good day, sir.

--
BMO

Re:robert mugabe was the leader of a revolution (0)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385806)

So you're saying, they should accept their dictatorial government, because a revolution could possibly lead to another dictatorial government? Your intellect is dazzling, truly.

Re:robert mugabe was the leader of a revolution (1)

$0.02 (618911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386868)

Nope. Joshua Nkomo was the leader of Zimbabwe revolution.

breathing is enough to get you arrested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385790)

if the govenment wants you arrested they don't actually need a reason.

Where's my false equivalency posts? (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385934)

Where are the fools who always pop up under a story like this to explain to us, with great indignation, why it is no better in the West, that the West does the same thing? Whenever China, Iran, North Korea, Egypt, Zimbabwe, etc., does anything vile with human rights, I need the solace of my false equivalency fools who are always there to tell me why in the West it is exactly the same, and no better.

Of course, these brave false equivalency fools are always so critical of the West... from within the West. What I want to see is their "bravery" and lazy iconoclasm, from within another country. Let's see how brave they are to post criticism of China, from within China, to post criticism of Iran, from within Iran, of Zimbabwe, from within Zimbabwe.

Any takers?

(crickets)

Don't seem so brave and counterculture now, do they? And maybe that means more about the true relationship between your rights and freedoms in the West versus those in countries that genuinely grant you no rights to expression or other simple aspects of human dignity, whatsoever.

The West does plenty wrong, and the West can improve, of course. But if you understand how good you have it RELATIVELY SPEAKING (never mind that we can do better), only then you can begin to say something intelligent about the world you live in. But if you think you are saying something intelligent by equating human rights in the West versus Zimbabwe, or China, or Iran, you're just announcing how sheltered and ignorant you are.

Re:Where's my false equivalency posts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386160)

Where are the fools who always pop up under a story like this to explain to us, with great indignation, why it is no better in the West, that the West does the same thing? Whenever China, Iran, North Korea, Egypt, Zimbabwe, etc., does anything vile with human rights, I need the solace of my false equivalency fools who are always there to tell me why in the West it is exactly the same, and no better.

Just do what you always do: wait until another poster says something that isn't actually anything like what you describe, but could possibly be mistaken for it if you only read every third word, while drunk and squinting through one eye at a monitor on the other side of the room. Then lie and act as if they had said that every single person in the US is literally Hitler.

It always ends with you spluttering and trying (without success) to cover your humiliation with feigned amusement, but you just keep coming back to the same pattern.

nothing like i describe? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386528)

Re:Where's my false equivalency posts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386380)

In your head, as usual. Nobody says the situation in the west is, on a whole, as bad as the situation in other parts of the world. However, there are very specific instances where the situation is comparable to the situation over there. For instance, what seems to be corporate ownership of many parts of the government through lobbying.

We have our own problems we need to deal with, like you said. Some of these are just similar to the ones in other parts of the world, both in form and severity. Our standard of living may be better and we may have some freedoms that haven't been completely kicked under the curb yet, but that's no reason to sit back and take it. It'll get worse unless we do something about it.

Re:Where's my false equivalency posts? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386478)

i absolutely agree. my problem is with those who equate our problems to completely unrelated, completely different problems, somewhere else. as if this is supposed to demonstrate anything except how impossible it will be to get over our problems because of idiots who don't even understand them

Re:Where's my false equivalency posts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386556)

Oh, totally, dude. High five for Guantanamo! They're not Westerners anyway amirite?

What we have is a false sense of security. Oh, the police would never shoot you if you were unarmed and were providing no resistance, right? And the goverment would never try to control what information gets to you and how it is presented? And politicans are politically responsible and I'm a fairy. You have the right to midly bitch and complain. Not too loud. Not too public. But sure, it's better than China. You don't have to keep silent if you get the urge to mildly bitch. And if you're up for some self-glorification, the maximum post length is the limit.

yup, you're exactly the sort I am talking about (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386606)

The West has done many abuses, and has many problems. But if you honestly think the abuses of the West compares to the status of human rights in Zimbabwe, or China, or Iran... you're not naive, you're not sheltered, you're not clueless. You're low IQ. I mean you genuinely lack certain mental abilities of compare and contrast that can only indicate that you're just not a very intelligent person. I'm not blindly insulting you. I'm making a fair, objective appraisal of your cognitive abilities based on your demonstrated attempts to make qualitative comparisons. I'm being completely sincere: you're just not a bright person.

Re:Where's my false equivalency posts? (4, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386794)

> The West does plenty wrong, and the West can improve, of course. But if you understand how good you have it RELATIVELY SPEAKING

Screw relatively speaking. What kind of American wants to be a little better than China or any other nation? I'm a pretty hard-core patriot. I want to be better than everyone. I want to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today. I've seriously considered the alternatives, and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else on the planet -- and I still want us to do better.

I think we're the best as a result of all the time we have spent striving to be the best. America Right or Wrong! When wrong to be put right, when right to be kept right.

What kind of defeatist propaganda are you trying to spread by telling people not to reflect on our opportunities for improvement? The most important thing we can all do as patriots is constantly ask ourselves how we can be better. Even though we are the best, I want to be more best. I want to be ten times as good as the next best, not twice as good. Did Johnny Bench play it soft in the All Star game? No. Why? Because he wanted to win.

And here's your false equivalency for you (though I won't call it equivalency, because it is not, we are much better than Zimbabwe):

A guy exposed a bunch of documents that led or is leading to the downfall of five different brutal dictatorships, to be replaced with democracy. Something the entire Neo-Con army has just barely sort of managed to do in one (Iraq). He is being held in military prison, and (apparently against the advise of military psychologists) being held in the harsh (absolutely, not relatively, Zimbabwe is worse) conditions of self-harm prevention. Despite his lawyer saying he is at no risk. A very reasonable hypothesis is that they are trying to get him to break and testify that Julian Assange assisted him, so they can go after Assange on espionage charges.

So -- Zimbabwe is worse. But when our own people do what they genuinely believe is best for Our Nation, and the results are *exactly* what the Neo-Cons claim they are after (spreading democracy in place of dictatorships), we treat him better than Zimbabwe treats their dissidents. That's not a high bar to get over. We can do a helluva lot better.

I want us to be better than that. I want us to be able to say, "We don't like this stuff being exposed, and we will do everything in our power to increase security. And Pfc Manning is a patriot who was doing his duty to his nation to the best of his ability, despite the fact that we strenuously disagree with his approach. The reason we don't have to make some kind of example of him is this: Look at the evidence that was revealed -- we *are* better than everyone else, and now those brutal dictators are getting exactly what they deserve. Sometimes the truth comes out, and hinders our diplomatic agenda in the short run. And we will do everything we can to prevent such events in the future. However, when it does happen, like this time, the truth will show that we are not just better than the despots -- but that we are the best -- even while we handle far more than our share of the world's problems. Because we are that good."

Re:Where's my false equivalency posts? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387138)

hold on a sec, let me get "battle hymn of the republic" playing and i'll read again...

(smirk)

in all seriousness, no battle to improve the usa will be made by anyone who doesn't even understand our problems. which is aptly demonstrated when someone thinks our problems are the same as china, zimbabe, iran, etc. THAT'S MY POINT

feel me now?

do you think anyone who thinks our condition is the same as china iran or zimbabwe is any sort of aid to your noble cause? no: there is no aid for the virtuous fight you cite from morons who thinks what harare does is the same as what washington dc does. it's a simple demonstration they are fucking idiots. do you fight a noble cause with idiots?

in case you missed it: idiot = someone who thinks the west has the same human rights condition as china, iran, or zimbabwe. do you get my fucking point? MY POST IS A PLEA FOR INTELLIGENCE. and you respond to my post as if it were an attack on heart

jesus fucking christ. i'm glad you got heart kid. now: do you having a FUCKING brain? try marrying that great noble beating heart with some brains, and get off your fucking high horse and get a fucking clue before you go off with your fucking battle hymn of republic post next time, when it doesn't even fucking apply

i'm not questioning your heart, your heart is obviously in the right place

i am questioning your brains

you need both

jesus fucking christ... throw in a fucking cowardly lion and we can have a fucking wizard of oz

Re:Where's my false equivalency posts? (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35389234)

> hold on a sec, let me get "battle hymn of the republic" playing and i'll read again...

> (smirk)

Yeah -- truth is I do see your point. Though I felt that the counterpoint was over-the-top passion for nation (which is actually what I feel too -- though I rarely express it so viscerally).

I think my post would have been better if, instead of the "defeatist propaganda" line, I had said something like "I agree that many make false equivalencies, and that those things are as damaging to the vital self-reflection process as blind jingoism -- however..."

In all honesty, once I got rolling, I got my own muster up. :)

Re:Where's my false equivalency posts? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35390662)

nothing wrong with that. i respect you sir, because you have heart. anyone with passion is someone i respect. cynicism about one's country is easy and cheap. if the usa is ever going to improve, it will start with heart like yours, not with the easy cynics. in fact, the same cynics whining here will probably be whining about whatever genuine heartfelt effort you try to improve your world. because that's all they do

Re:Where's my false equivalency posts? (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#35403214)

You forgot your smiley. If you still don't understand, check out my sig.

Re:Where's my false equivalency posts? (1)

thaig (415462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388228)

If I could mod you up I would. This is insightful. I suppose I think it's insightful because I have also noticed it often and it is frustrating.

The battle is about elites vs the rest. Countries that have a small middle class have a kind of power vacuum in which the elite dominates a powerless landless group. They have 100 excuses from "culture" to socialism but it is none of that - it's straightforward, medieval kings and barons and peasants and it's universal to humankind.

The developed world's best way of helping is anything that helps a middle class to grow because even though it is impossible not to have an elite, the middle class are the ones who have the knowledge, collective power, self-organising ability and money to keep the elite in check. They can create new members of the elite and tear down existing ones who overstep the mark.

Re:Where's my false equivalency posts? (1)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35389814)

Where are the fools who always pop up under a story like this to explain to us, with great indignation, why it is no better in the West, that the West does the same thing? Whenever China, Iran, North Korea, Egypt, Zimbabwe, etc., does anything vile with human rights, I need the solace of my false equivalency fools who are always there to tell me why in the West it is exactly the same, and no better.

It's not only the absolute amount of freedom that's important, you also have to consider the time derivative. While I obviously appreciate the relatively large amount of freedom we currently enjoy, the way "the west" generally seems to be headed now, I'm not sure it will still be a place I want to live in in 10 or 20 years.

Re:Where's my false equivalency posts? (1)

blendergasket (806364) | more than 3 years ago | (#35389844)

Or, you know, we could just sit around on our laurels and watch silently as the government takes a few more, and then a few more of our rights away. The USA isn't Zimbabwe because of a the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which is constantly under assault and has been under massive assault under Bush and now, sadly, Obama. Drawing equivalencies between regimes that are generally understood to be repressive and our own regimes when they act in a sinister and repressive manner against the citizens who they are sworn to protect and serve an who's rights they're supposed to be protecting and upholding is valid. Is it wrong to point out that my government is doing similar things as are done by repressive regimes and beginning to look more like those regimes? I think it's right and necessary. Oh, and by the way. Free Bradley Manning: http://www.bradleymanning.org/ [bradleymanning.org]

I'm sure glad... (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386174)

I'm sure glad things like that don't happen here in the West!

Too little too late. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386698)

Social networking and blogging tools and sites were strong contributors to the organizatin of the Tunisan and Egyptian revolutions - to the point that the Egyptian revolution might be characterized as a revolution run by "flash mob" events. With these tools conspiracies could grow so fast they stayed far ahead of the governments' efforts to identify, infiltrate, and shut them down.

But the FACT of the revolutions' success has created a "Schelling Point" (AKA "focus point") - a game theoretical situation when the participants, with no direct communication, know that "The time is now and everybody else knows it too.".

Once you have a Schelling Point, communication is not so necessary. So prosecuting Facebook posters will be too little, too late. So will shutting off Internet access and phone service in your country.

Eventually governments may be able to develop new methods to head off and suppress popular uprisings. But for now it's the people who have the upper hand.

To the dictators of the world I say: Welcome to "The Singularity". B-) )

ask bradley manning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387130)

he knows about it

Exactly the same in the U.K. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35388312)

If, for example, you were to speak in less than glowing terms about JEWS (even using the word "Jew" is apparently a 'crime' nowadays, just search for "Jew" on Google and read their sickening 'apology' about the results that might come up if you don't use the magic word "Jewish"...) you would definitely be sacked from your job, and most likely sent to prison.

So now do you know who runs your country, against the will of the people? The eternal Jew.

Try it - at your next 'diversity awareness' course at your place of work, stand up and say "Jew", and watch people's reactions- you would probably be sacked on the spot.

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