Social Media and the Russia Election protests
Back when I was at school, I was exceptionally privileged to have the opportunity to visit Russia several times.
Whilst I was there I made friends with a number of Russian young people.
I remember in 2005 or so, having just had a tour round the Kremlin, meeting some students and talking to them in English, (my Russian has never been as good as I wanted it to be). I clearly remember one of them saying that they didn’t really like the government here and indicated the Kremlin. I felt a bit uncomfortable, certainly not wanting to be seen to take any moral high ground, and let the subject drop.
As Vkontakte – the Russian clone of Facebook was just starting up, I got an account on there and friended them… and then promptly stopped studying Russian and all but forgot about it all.
Now there is an important point before I go on:
Anecdotes are not Data.
At no point do I think the opinions of some people represent everybody and there are various reasons why I may be seeing bias. Again, anecdotes are not data. This is not a scientific study.
During the South Ossetia crisis when traditional western blocs were saying fighting words to traditional eastern blocs I talked to some of my Russian friends again. Not to try and change anyone’s opinion, but to try and understand their opinions. Media outlets always spin news stories in some way or other. Sometimes predictably, sometimes less so. Talking to random Russians went some way to understanding things from a point of view, other than the one put across by local or foreign media services.
what do you think of all the politics which is going on at the moment?
georgia, poland etc?
I find it quite worrying, but i’m intersted to know what you think,
I think it is provocation of Russia from USA…
I drifted away again for a few years…
I read the Russian election results on the BBC/Guardian/Google news saw a lot of bias about unfair elections (something we’re known to make loud diplomatic noises about) and went and read the Xinhua article for an extra perspective (Xinhua is highly unlikely to take a critical point of view of a Government which has friendly relations with the PRC.
I thought nothing more of it – another election that our government makes unhappy noises about – another day. There’s no chance of anything our government says having any effect on the Russian government (hey, this is what we spent the whole of the cold war trying (and failing!) to do, remember?!). I just assumed the status quo would remain.
Well here’s the interesting bit. Yesterday I noticed on reddit that things seemed to be happening in Moscow. Reports were being posted of large demonstrations taking place, riot police calling in the army… Sensationalist reporting started talking about a “civil war”.
Then Vkontakte exploded (translated via Google translate):
Posts such as:
“If you ever get up in the life of a choice-to do by law or by conscience, to act according to conscience, the laws can always be changed”
Of the 983 people who came to the polls in 1365 voted for United Russia
Election candidates are all worthy of an honest politician with PEOPLE GOOD GOOD FELLOWS PROGRAM AREA RAISE FOR ALL SORRY CAN NOT VOTE.
Dear members of the media!
Please note that all detainees before during an unsanctioned rally near the metro station Seating yard are still in police stations.
During detention, the police announced that all members of the shares will be delivered to the police departments to draw up protocols on administrative violations, but from people who still are in the departments come down to us the information that all detainees will soon have to send in municipal courts in order to make the charges under Article 280 of the Criminal Code (calling for the overthrow of government).
We urge you to give publicity to this fact and try to keep the information practices of another fact of tyranny and police authorities.
repost is welcome!
My view is estimated that we need a new election with the exception of the United Russia electoral list in connection with numerous violations.
…began to crop up on my friends’ and their friends’ walls.
What I think of the election result is irrelevant. What matters is what the Russian people think.
I continue to watch my Russian friend’s reactions with interest…
Feel free to add me on Vkontakte