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Before the Twitter revolutions, there was the Usen

lpress (707742) writes | more than 3 years ago

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lpress (707742) writes "I believe the first example of network citizen journalism was during the August 1991 coup attempt by eight high level Soviet officials. There were two days of confrontation between demonstrators and troops, during which all Russian media except Usenet news groups were shut down by the authorities. Usenet, a precursor of today's Internet discussion forums, carried traffic into, out of and within Russia (70 cities) during the days of the coup attempt.

One of the quotes from that time foreshadows the Internet shut down in Egypt today. Polina Antonova of RELCOM, the Unix distributor that operated the network wrote:

"They try to close all mass media, they stopped CNN an hour ago, and Soviet TV transmits opera and old movies. But, thank Heaven, they don't consider RELCOM mass media or they simply forgot about it. Now we transmit information enough to put us in prison for the rest of our life".

After two tense days, the coup failed and president Mikhail Gorbachev was restored to power. For more on the role of the network during the coup attempt, see:

http://cis471.blogspot.com/2011/01/before-twitter-revolutions-there-was.html"

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