Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The less than benign use of social networking

A story from Balkan Insight should act as a corrective to the thinking that suggests that the sharing of information across Facebook, Twitter et al by cause groups is always a good thing:

"The violent scenes seen in the heart of Skopje have sparked a wave of hate-speech on Facebook, with ethnic Albanian and Macedonian hard-liners calling for renewed violence this Saturday. Eight people were injured on Sunday when rival Macedonian and Albanian protesters scuffled over the controversial construction of a museum being erected on the foundations of a medieval church at the fortress in Skopje....“My Macedonian brothers, on Saturday we will have our revenge,” one Facebook group says, adding that it is time for “the final battle to eradicate the Shiptars”. "Shiptar" is a derogatory term for an Albanian.  Another Facebook profile, opened by Albanians opposed to the museum, says that “only a massacred Macedonian is a good caurin". The word "caurin" is a derogatory for a member of the country's Macedonian majority".

One does not need to think too hard to come up with examples of past horrors that could have been facilitated by social networking.

Meanwhile, while Macedonians outnumber Albanians around 3:1 in Macedonia, there is a distinct Albanian majority in the region.

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