The Free Syrian Army's Main Media Channel... is Facebook
Over the weekend I heard an NPR segment on the armed uprising in Syria which contained a couple sentences that totally blew me away:
[T]here's one other thing that's happening here, and that is the FSA has said that it will eventually bring the fight to Damascus. It's all over Facebook pages, and the security services read those pages.
Yes: The Free Syrian Army uses Facebook to relay crucial announcements of international significance. This is surprising to me in itself, but even more surprising is this:
It's been going on at least since last November, and that the FSA doesn't just use Facebook as a awareness-raising or fundraising channel, but also, to make direct, operational statements and declarations directed at the Syrian government. The democratic uprising in Egypt was also fueled in large part by Facebook, but to my knowledge, this is the first time I'm aware of that armed insurrectionists have come to depend on the social network. What's also surprising is that this has been going on for so long, and the surreal strangeness isn't even commented on. And somehow, when we talk about Facebook, many still think it's only about updates of what people had for lunch and such. But as it turns out, there's also updates of what insurgents are doing by force of arms. On top of that, this is all probably happening in spite of Facebook's own policies, which forbid the use of pseudonyms, and I very much doubt anyone publicly involved with the FSA's Facebook page, is going by their real life names there.
Free advice for the Free Syrian Army: Create a Free Syria-ville game on Facebook which lets players buy virtual goods for Facebook Credits, and use that revenue to help finance the uprising. I'm not even kidding.
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