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Egyptian human rights activists go digital with plan to broadcast elections live
BambuserNov 22, 2011 20:15 GMT
With independent observers banned from next week’s Egyptian elections, prominent activists are organising ‘tech training camps’ to show locals how live video streaming technology can bring transparency and fairness to the poll.
During the Arab Spring, Egyptian activists mobilised the masses using social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and blogs to spread the revolutionary message and effect the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.
The revolution was also notable for the dramatic rise in the use of Bambuser – a mobile application that enables live video footage to be broadcast directly to the web from a wide range of mobile phones and from laptops. Such was the popularity of Bambuser among human rights activists during the ‘Arab Spring Uprising’ that the Egyptian government blocked access to the site earlier this year.
Since then, growing concern about the intentions of the country’s ruling military council has seen human rights activists setup workshops to show fellow Egyptians how to use Bambuser and broadcast proceedings live from polling stations across the country.
In order to get a fuller picture of the challenging and dangerous environment human rights activists work in, Bambuser founders Måns Adler and Jonas Vig will visit one such workshop in central Cairo on Thursday morning (24th November). The pair will spend a week in Cairo, following human rights activists to learn how they use social media and better understand the unique challenges they face.
“Over the past 12 months we’ve built relationships with some of the most prominent human rights activists in the region,” says Måns Adler. “It will be a privilege to meet and observe them in action at this critical time in Egypt’s history, and learn at first hand how technology is helping their struggle for democracy.”
“We’ll take the lessons back with us so we can develop and improve the Bambuser software. We want to make it a better tool for activists around the world to use in situations like this.”
“With no international observers present at the elections, technology will be instrumental in broadcasting how they’re organised and, hopefully, ensuring a fair and democratic process,” continues Jonas Vig.
“In effect, by setting up these technology workshops all over the country, human rights activists are attempting to crowdsource transparency and the monitoring of the election.”
- We can grant a select number of media outlets access to technology training camps, and interviews with some of the most prominent human rights activists behind the Arab Spring revolutions.
- Måns Adler is a world-renowned speaker on the subject of the democratic applications and potential of technology.
- Måns Adler and Jonas Vig will be in Cario from Thursday 24 November to Tuesday 29 November. They are both available for interview.
- Bambuser has a dedicated channel for all live broadcasts from Egypt … www.bambuser.com/egypt
- Måns Adler and Jonas Vig will be blogging their experience in Egypt and their insights into what they learn at http://watchingtwatchers.tumblr.com/ . This will be a rich, independent resource of video footage, photographs, interviews and insight.
- During last year’s election in Egypt, over 10,000 unique videos were broadcast using Bambuser. Since then Bambuser generated videos have had millions of views.