The Constant Eye of the Internet

I received an email today about the situation in Burma that raises interesting issues about the impact of the Internet on the political situation in Burma:

[O]ne f the most interesting parts of the ongoing story is the speculation that the urmese ruling junta will be forced to speak much more openly than they did back in 1988 because of the “YouTube effect.” The theory is that in 1988, the world didn’t know about the atrocities committed until months later, diluting the response that may have occurred otherwise. Today, though, with videos of the attacks against the monks all over the Internet, a more worldwide response happened much more quickly (especially in Japan with video of the pointblank shooting of a Japanese photographer). Right now, General Thwe is hinting he may be willing to negotiate after all with the “rightful” democratic authority figure under house arrest and a theme is how much the Internet played into the worldwide response, practically forcing the General to confront the issue immediately.

I’ve blogged before about the “YouTube-ification” of politics in the U.S., which tends to involve the “gotcha” game of catching politicians in unguarded moments. What this describes is more profound, like the cleansing effect of sunlight.

4 thoughts on “The Constant Eye of the Internet”

  1. I believe this meeting is just being conducted to appease the UN. he leaders can meet all they would like, most of the damage has already been done. “A failed revolution”, the Burmese military regime should have imposed enough fear to continue for at least another 20 years.

  2. This just goes on to prove the extent to which the internet, or internets as a certain president likes to call it, has become the most powerful, efficient way to spread information. So much so that several governments worldwide, such as China’s and Iran’s, have put in place mechanisms to censor it. Morocco even went so far as to “ban” Youtube.

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