Islamic State’s war propaganda for women attracts social media users

Social media becomes a window to a war zone that several women in South Florida say they follow even though they oppose terrorism
Author: Andrea Torres, Reporter,
Published On: Sep 17 2014 07:30:22 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 18 2014 11:38:41 AM EDT

August 21st Facebook post defined as a “selfie” by Diary of A Muhajirah user.

MIAMI – A user’s recent social media posts read like a movie: A woman trained as a doctor travels to a war zone. She falls in love and gets pregnant. She suffers the inevitable reality of war in Syria.The social media user posts on Twitter and Facebook links to a Tumbler blog titled “Diary Of A Traveler”. The user has followers from all over the world — including South Florida. Maria Elena Carrillo, 35, a Venezuelan of Lebanese descent, said she has been following the blog since March.

“Her identity is a mystery. She said her legal name was Shams and that she was 26 and was from Malaysia, but no one knows if that’s true,” Carrillo said. “Her English is perfect. It could all be just clever propaganda for all we know. And there could be more than one person posting.” Continue reading

Myanmar: Monitoring the Elections Through Facebook


Election campaign by the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). Image by Demo Waiyan/Facebook.

Myanmar has been implementing a lot of reforms in the past years which included the release from prison of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, the suspension of a controversial dam project and the unprecedented release of hundreds of political prisoners. And now, it’s time for by-elections.

Two major parties, namely National League for Democracy (NLD), which is led by Aung San Suu Kyi and Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) dominated by former military generals are competing for all 45 places in parliament while some other parties such as The Democratic Party, New National Democracy Party (NDP), National Unity Party (NUP) and so on are competing for fewer places.

Myanmar Facebook users are overwhelmed with different news regarding the election which is coincidentally on April Fools’ Day.

Khin Nyein Chan posted a photo of a USDP campaign in which they were using a photo of United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Myanmar last November. Many Facebook users have commented that such campaigning is inappropriate.

“Lion tries to fly intimating peacock,
Couldn’t fly and fall”

Mg Mg Lwin Eu wrote [my] the rhyme above about a photo of a USDP election campaign posted by Demo Waiyan where some people were believed to have been forced to attend a speech event comparing to NLD’s massive success in campaign activities, since the lion is the icon of USDP and the peacock is that of NLD.

There are also news reports and rumours from unknown sources, whose impact could be large and may affect the result of the elections. Demo Waiyan shared [my] news he heard that the blank spaces to tick on ballot paper are wax-coated in some places so that voters won’t be able to vote properly.

Some rumours, which are believed to have really happened, sounded like real April Fools’ Day stuff. One of those claimed [my] that the USDP tried to give away a shirt and a cap to a beggar in Mandalay and he declined to accept the gifts. Some said [my] that a USDP member in Tadar Oo, Mandalay kept on insulting NLD with loud speakers for a whole night.

The most famous rumour [my] about USDP lately is that they were campaigning for election by treating Briyani to public in East Dagon, Yangon. It is also mentioned [my] that a USDP representative gave away cash during his campaign speech.

Despite the best efforts made by USDP, a majority of people are eagerly supporting NLD even though not all of them are eligible to vote in this by-election. In a small survey [my] made on Facebook, 974 people said they are going to vote for NLD while only 24 people chose USDP. Continue reading

Facebook And The Future Of Fear

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

April 13, 2011: The U.S. is planning to eliminate the five-color terrorism alert level system and, instead, use Twitter and Facebook to more quickly distribute more detailed terror alerts. Government officials noted that there are already 150 million Americans on Facebook. That’s about half the entire population. Only six percent of Americans use Twitter, but that six percent stays on top of things and are well connected with the mass media and major news sites on the Internet. Continue reading

Curtain lifted on Egypt’s spy agency

1983 Anon, Cairo? - Hosni Mubarak & Yasser Ara...

Image by blacque_jacques via Flickr

CAIRO—For years, Marwa Farouk lived in fear of Egypt’s state security agents, who arrested and interrogated her several times for her work as an activist.

But now it is the state security apparatus, which served as the main enforcer of former president Hosni Mubarak’s regime, that has become vulnerable. In stunning succession, its headquarters have been overrun by angry mobs, its once-dreaded police force hidden away and, on Tuesday night, its top officials were placed under house arrest. Continue reading