From #Gaza with Love #Ferguson

As police in the USA intensify anti-protest action in Ferguson tweeters start sending advice and sympathy from Gaza, especially on how to withstand armed forces’ terror tactics…

  • WesleyLowery
    But the residents have not been “rioting.” It just isn’t true. Protesting: yes. Outraged: yes. Clashing with police: yes. Rioting: No
There are Americans who think a black teenager reached for a cop’s gun, from 35 feet away, but demand further proof for global warming.
When @KristinFisher approached our protest, she immediately went to the white woman for details. Ignoring the Black faces who organized.
This is the WaPo piece @WesleyLowery filed not long before he was arrested in Ferguson. 
People in #Gaza are tweeting information on how to handle tear gas to the citizens of #Ferguson. Mind blown. #MikeBrown
Crowd in #ferguson now chanting “End the occupation from Gaza to St Louis!!!”
An American army is attacking unarmed Americans. Who is willing to invade America to protect Americans? Isn’t that our logic when we invade?
Wow! People from Gaza are tweeting to the people in #Ferguson on how to protect themselves from tear gas. Think about that! #Maddow
Whole world is watching #Ferguson & every dictator who sets his police like attack dogs on protesters shrugs & says “See, the US does it.”
That sound cannon that the police is using in Ferguson was used in Iraq and Somalia and causes permanent hearing loss
So weird to see reporters covering the Midwest tweet tips on now to handle tear gas, police violence, etc. What is happening out there?
Stun grenades and tear gas in #Ferguson now. Police rioting in the streets against calm protesters.
Tip learned in Bil’in, Palestine on tear gas: use onion peels to breathe easier. #Ferguson
Do not expect Obama to travel to #Ferguson, unless it is to show solidarity with the police.
“@manofsteele: Wow...A man picks up burning tear gas can and throws it back at police. #ferguson” @YourAnonNews
Wow…A man picks up burning tear gas can and throws it back at police @YourAnonNews<Not just a man…a dread! Jah RASTAfari!!!!
Look at these black men be heroes RT @jonswaine: Police "This is your final warning." Protesters at front not nudging
Look at these black men be heroes RT @jonswaine: Police “This is your final warning.” Protesters at front
It’s like a law of nature. Marginalized people protest the senseless killing of one of their own. Face a brutal, militarized police machine.
Oh Twitter. People in #Gaza following #Ferguson events tweeting like ‘Hope you’re OK, don’t stop resisting’


You know it’s a bad situation when the people of #Gaza are empathizing with you and seeing parallels #Ferguson
Got folks in #Gaza tweeting tips to help people during the #Ferguson protest...wild. #mikebrown
Got folks in #Gaza tweeting tips to help people during the #Ferguson protest…wild. #mikebrown
The oppressed stands with the oppressed. #Palestine stands with #Ferguson.
The oppressed stands with the oppressed. #Palestine stands with #Ferguson.
#MikeBrown shooting; 'War zone' in #Ferguson. Photos and story:
#MikeBrown shooting; ‘War zone in #Ferguson. Photos and story
MORE BREAKING PHOTOS: After Aljazeera crew was directly hit with tear gas, their cameras were disassembled: #Ferguson
MORE BREAKING PHOTOS: After Aljazeera crew was directly hit with tear gas, their cameras were disassembled: #Ferguson
I respect law enforcement. I have issues with the political classes who use them. #Ferguson #Gaza
When the words “NEW CEASE FIRE TAKES HOLD” appear on the screen, one wonders if the report’s on #Iraq #Ukraine #Gaza or #Ferguson.

The World Cup and its Others…

The World Cup as tweeted live taking note of the play of race, colour, nation, ethnicity, religion…and locaton.

Presenting a Storified tweetshot of reactions from those of us in the Global South as our representatives at the World Cup in Brazil surged ahead on the day that the Black Stars (Ghana) and the Super Eagles (NIG) made their presence felt–race, religion, colour, ethnicity, nationality–all came in for comment. For example, the following tweet from Jean Lowrie-Chin in Jamaica: @chinhubert saw a tweet during #GHAvsUSA: “Not sure who to back – Ancestors from Ghana but remittances from USA” ☺ #Brasil2014. Check it out…

So Germany is the only European team that has a white guy who scores
Ok, who am I supporting here? #HONvsECU (@tejucole, any advice?)
@kamilashamsie Um, definitely the small poor country with brown people.
Helpful. “@tejucole: @kamilashamsie Um, definitely the small poor country with brown people.”
@kamilashamsie @tejucole But they are both small poor countries with brown people. No? Very helpful indeed 🙂 #HONvsECU
Costly error by #ECU leads to Costly goal for #HON. Nice.
There can no longer be any doubt: the U.S. is one of the top nine American teams in this tournament.
So basically postcolonial nations have spent every minute since independnce dedicating themselves to proving every colonial stereotype right
It is delightful that the national honor of so very Catholic France continues to be in the hands of its predominantly Muslim football team
germany/netherlands ain’t winning no world cup in south america…so save unnuh breath…
I am Ghanaian. I am Ghanaian. I am Ghanaian.
GOAL! Has someone accounted for the Obeah Man??
GOAL! Has someone accounted for the Obeah Man??
Oh my God, this is happening. Come on you Black Stars!
Black Stars broke my heart in 2010, not going to celebrate until the end. *watching with one eye*
You have nowhere to hurry, Ghana.
where is ogun in particular today? where is ogun?
C’mon Global South!!! you can do it! #GhanavsGermany
There are no atheists in the 85th minute.
It is immense that #GHA believes that they can and actually do go toe to toe with Europe’s deadliest team
What a thoroughly entertaining game.
This German niggas bleeding ALL over the field. Soccer so violent. #WorldCup2014
Great fight Ghana a so we do it! #AfricanStandUp
Can we play extra time on this one? A perfect half of football and fantastic entertainment from both sides.
these commentators “Germany did not bring their A game”. enough!
OK Ghana I was just kidding. I love you. But I can’t promise about Samuel Kuffour. Not when he says “pahnahty”.
GER vs. GHA was pretty much an episode of Game of Thrones. Valar Morghulis.
One of the best games of #WorldCup2014 so far on the longest day of the yr. Great display esp by #Ghana.
Watched Ger vs Gha in a bar in Fort Greene. Jokes for days. “That was an awesome head kick.”
My mum just saw her tenant that is owing her money on super sport in Brazil
It’s funny (completely unfunny) how much space Hajrovic is getting on the right flank. Acres. He could start a farm out there.
If you get an email from a Nigerian friend claiming he’s lost all his cash in Rio, don’t delete it as spam. It might just be true
#NIG clearly looking for a specific target area in #BIH defence.
#NIG clearly looking for a specific target area in #BIH defence.
So, so harsh for Bosnia
Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike fires in a shot on goal during the match between #NGR and #BIH. - AP #glnrWorldCup
Nigeria’s Emmanuel Emenike fires in a shot on goal during the match between #NGR and #BIH. – AP #glnrWorldCup
Yow Nigeria nuh concede no goals yet!!!
Naija! Naija! Naija! Naija! Naija!
Wake up call. It will not be strange if Goodluck Jonathan wins in a free and fair election 2015. Twitter is not = Nigeria.

From Analog to Digital: Mind the Gap

Why the gap between Jamaican media and latest technologies?

analogue clock cartoons, analogue clock cartoon, funny, analogue clock picture, analogue clock pictures, analogue clock image, analogue clock images, analogue clock illustration, analogue clock illustrations
Can’t afford the rights to this cartoon, but am carrying it with a link to the original site as free advertising…

Recently I heard Naomi Francis and Emily Crooks on Nationwide Radio exclaiming how Twitter has changed the way they consume content, especially television and other live streaming content, and how much they enjoyed watching The Voice while commenting simultaneously along with so many others on Twitter. A heartfelt Hallelujah. Our media has finally got it. Not a moment too soon for this is the end of 2013 and one day scholars and analysts will want to know why Jamaican media were such late adopters of new media in general; the first big-name journalist to start blogging here was Dionne Jackson-Miller in 2012.

There were several younger, lesser known journalists who started Twitter accounts in the early days and used social media tools (Laura Redpath was one of them), but there seems not to have been any recognition on the part of their media houses that what they were doing was valuable activity, that should have been taken up at the highest levels.

For those plebs like myself who started blogging in 2008, and tweeting in 2009, it remained a mystery why the media here seemed to be spurning the most revolutionary news and opinion-gathering tools to come along in decades. For us the Tessane Chin moment Ems and Nems were describing on Nationwide had happened in 2008 when we watched Obama’s historic win, while talking to each other on Twitter, not only regionally but globally.

I’d really love to know why it took Jamaica’s top media fraternity another five years to get clued in on the powers and pleasures of Twitter. I suggest it behooves them to take a good, long look at their own foot-dragging in this context and ask what it means. What does this hostility to change imply for Jamaica’s future? The world as we know it is irrevocably moving from analog to digital modes of communication. Abandon hope all ye who insist on ignoring this fact or who convinced themselves that social media was just a fad that would go away. If it might help let me quote from a post I wrote in January 2010, “Jamaica’s Twitter-shy Media: When will the would-be watchdogs of Jamaican democracy wake up?“:

I wonder if 2010 will prove to be the year when Jamaican journalists finally discover Twitter. Their silence on/in this increasingly crucial new medium is deafening. Where are @Boyne, @MartinHenry, @Wignall, @Hughes and @emilycrooks? Don’t you know that Twitter is how news is telegraphed nowadays and audiences created?

Ah well, i continue to scratch my head in perplexity at the lagging behind of those who claim to be our watchdogs. Their caginess and timidity would be amusing if it wasn’t so tragic. While the formal, English-speaking posse bury their heads in the sand the Patwa-speakers are off and running with the new technologies. I was able to get a blow-by-blow account of the rather uneventful Sting finale this year because the dancehall massive and crew were tweeting comments and photos, alternately transmitting their disgust at the lack of clashing and fear when shots were fired amongst a range of reactions which i wouldn’t have missed for the world.

May i recommend that our celebrated journalists…take a crash course in Twitter? The lagging behind in use of new technologies from the most literate segments of Jamaican society contradicts the ‘English is better than Patwa’ message that the English-speaking elites are constantly advancing, claiming that English is necessary to ‘move ahead’, converse with the rest of the world, keep up with new knowledge and so on. It would seem from the example that they’re setting that English is actually holding back the learned, speaky-spoky elites.
Even the latest Shebada play Serious Business, pivots on the plot-bending detail of ‘Facebook and Twidder’ for he plays a Revival preacher from New York, with 5000 Facebook friends and 3000 Twitter followers. Those are his qualifications for being hired to replace the crufty, corrupt old Preacher who is busy ripping off the Church at every opportunity he gets. It’s an amazing development when the less literate massive and crew get the new technologies before those who benefited from the highest education this country can offer. What can it portend for the future?
I’ve also tried, unsuccessfully so far, to interest my colleagues at the University of the West Indies in logging on to things digital, for Twitter and Facebook are prime hunting grounds for researching social opinion, commentary and discourse in general. With a few exceptions (Damien King, Sonjah Stanley-Niaah, Donna Hope, Julian Cresser, Marcia Forbes) most UWI academics have spurned these new modes of communication and research. While it may once have been possible to claim to be world-class without having to prove it, be warned that the lack of a significant digital footprint today in any enterprise that claims to be cutting edge, immediately betrays the falsity of such truth claims.
Meanwhile according to a Daily Beast article listing the 10 most popular journalists on Twitter: “MuckRack…reported that the New York Times has the most journalists on Twitter, with 502 tweeting reporters, editors, and photographers. Reuters was just shy of the lead with 496.”
What’s our excuse?

Jamaica’s Tessanne Chin: #Voice of the Year


I arrived back in Jamaica from my two week visit to Amsterdam and London on the night of December 16 jetlagged and drained. I was in the air during the most important penultimate airing of the American reality show The Voice that evening and had missed the excitement of following the fortunes of Jamaican singer Tessanne Chin as she navigated a steady path to victory. As soon as we landed I tuned in to Twitter to see what i could glean about the evening’s performances. This collection of tweets is largely from that evening when instead of falling into bed after the ravages of intercontinental travel I stayed up till 1 am hooked to Twitter and the live commentary available there on Tessanne’s relentless ascent up the iTunes charts. Thanks to top journo Emily Crooks for her live tweeting and sometimes hilarious commentary (calling for a sign language interpreter from South Africa to interpret Cristina Aguilera’s body language after another stunning performance by Jamaica’s songbird eg).

Read the rest of this post on Storify–linked below:

How Indian Journalists are using Twitter

How Indian journalists are using Twitter

The excerpt below is from a Neiman Journalism Lab article on Indian journalists and their use or non-use of social media. I was struck by the following paragraphs because of the connection to my previous post Why Twitter is Essential for Journalists in which i asked when the top brass of Jamaican journalism was going to start using Twitter, one of the most revolutionary new news-gathering tools available today.

The Delhi gang rape case prompted many journalists to use Twitter for updates on events and immediate responses from activists. To a greater extent than in previous protests, social media helped journalists keep a finger on the pulse of middle class India and get their immediate feedback on important issues. An Australian reporter said that “Twitter was really helpful to get a sense of the public sentiment and developments.” He followed the #delhigangrape hashtag, the official Twitter account of the Indian government, women’s groups, pressure groups, and Indian media on the subject.

Venkataramakrishnan, the journalist who found 140 characters limiting, nonetheless said that the protests have been incubators for social media sophistication in India. “Following the Anna Hazare case and the Delhi gang rape case, social media began to achieve a critical mass,” he told us.

Many journalists cited the importance of social media for background information. A journalist from The Hindu told us “I look at tweets by our own editor, editors from other newspapers, well known journalists such as Pritish Nandy [a columnist with The Times of India and the Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar], Abhijit Majumder [editor of the Delhi edition of the Hindustan Times], and Saikat Dutta [a Delhi-based editor of the newspaper DNA]. I also look up tweets by television journalists such as Shiv Aroor [deputy editor at Headlines Today]. You get a mix of opinions from their tweets. Knowing these people’s perspectives helps me during coverage — but only indirectly…I rely on what I see when I am on the ground.”

Interestingly the overall thrust of the article I’m quoting is that in countries like India social media only reaches a tiny percentage of people and therefore may legitimately be overlooked. In Jamaica the number of people who have access to the internet and use social media  via cellphones is much higher. Low internet penetration is all the more reason for media heads and top journalists to be au fait with the latest technologies so they can use it to inform themselves and their audiences who aren’t as well linked.

Why I Have Time and Energy for Twitter…

Twitter and ‘locality’

The other day Richard Drayton asked a number of us on Facebook a provocative question: “…why do you commit the energy and time you do to Twitter?”…

I proffered a number of reasons but chief among them is what i think of as ‘locality’; how Twitter gives you the ability to tune in to any locality you wish as long as there are people from there on Twitter. This means that I’m now in touch with events, opinions and news from Pakistan, that shoulder that was chopped off the torso of India in 1947 leaving the citizens of both countries strangers to each other. Some of my favourite tweeple are the tweeters from Pakistan i follow, chief among them @BhopalHouse. This morning she tweeted the link to the post below which offers a perspective on the rage sweeping through the so-called Middle East that I’m happy to have come across. It offers a neat counter to international media narratives of overheated Muslims succumbing to irrational rage threatening to take us all back to the so-called Middle Ages…

Pakistan’s Day of Moderate Disapproval

“The world has clearly gone crazy. That a lame movie trailer (does the actual movie even exist?) made in the US by some kind of Coptic Christian can induce people to attack branches of KFC or the German embassy in Khartoum is simply too bizarre for comprehension.

So can I just point out the fine example of Pakistan for a moment. This country, usually portrayed as a steaming cesspit of crazy, beard-wearing nutcases intent on destroying the West, managed to broadly treat the “Innocence of Muslims” movie trailer with the contempt it deserved, for the most part ignoring the amateurish provocation for what it was.”

For more look here

PS: This blogpost was clearly premature. Within a few days there were violent protests all over Pakistan. Read an account of the US consulate being stormed here.

Leaves of Absence: Not to tweet for a day…for a month…forever?

People taking leaves of absence from Twitter…


Just a few things i picked up from Twitter today:

Terry McMillan announced this morning that she’d be taking a one-month break from Twitter to write her next novel. In a series of tweets she explained her predicament before making her exit:

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
After much deliberation, I have decided to take a one month leave from Twitter in my quest to complete a rough draft of my novel.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
Please know how much I look forward to hanging out with you all on an almost daily basis, but I’ve lost my focus and want to get it back.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
I’ve never written a novel under the influence of Twitter (!) and it is difficult to do with so much going on in the world that disturbs me.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
However, in order to concentrate, sometimes you have to eliminate distractions. It’s lonely, but ultimately, gratifying.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
I am accustomed to writing without thinking. Twitter allows me to think in 140 characters. Sometimes, I don’t want to think. I want to feel.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
So, off I go. I call it surrendering. Where you give your all to what you’re doing. Or don’t do it at all. I chose to do the damn thang.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
I hope all of you pray that I write with conviction & I will pray that you feel as much joy, strength, love & courage as possible.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
And we rock on.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan

Meanwhile Columbia journalism professor and social media guru Sree Sreenivasan went on an all day Twitter and Facebook fast to raise scholarship funds. The following tweets are self-explanatory and following that I excerpt something from the Columbia School of Journalism page giving the fuller context:

Sree Sreenivasan ‏ @sree
#SilenceSree starts midmorning. How many of you give determines how long I stay off FB & Twitter: #cuj12
Sree Sreenivasan ‏ @sree
It’s #SilenceSree Day! Enough of you gave $5 to keep me off Twitter till 9 pm ET. Prolong my misery by donating today:

Silence Sree Fundraiser

Can @Sree go a day without Twitter and Facebook? Maybe for charity! Donate to silence Sree!

Silence Sree

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Columbia’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is raising donations for a scholarship fund that will be awarded to one or several students enrolled in the incoming class. We hope this new tradition will continue long after the Class of 2012 graduates.


The real cause?  Getting Sree to stop Tweeting (and Facebooking, Posterousing, Pininteresting, and FourSquaring) for a day. Here’s how last year’s class raised money and kept Sree silent.

The goal is 200 people. The percentage of 200 that donates will correspond to the amount of time Sree will be silenced. (Maximum one day. Communication is kind of his job!) If 200 people give, then Sree is off for a day. If only 20 people reach in their pockets, then he isn’t staying off that long, about 2.5 hours.

1 dollar in person contributes to silencing Sree. There is a 5 dollar minimum if you donate online.

Finally, completely unrelated, but how many of you realized that today was the anniversary of Claude McKay’s death? I wouldn’t have known were it not for the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh whose twitter feed i follow:

Scottish Poetry Lib ‏ @ByLeavesWeLive
Claude McKay, the Jamaican-born poet, died in Chicago on this day in 1948…

Scottish Poetry Lib ‏ @ByLeavesWeLive
“There is joy in the woods just now/The leaves are whispers of song/& the birds make mirth on the bough/& music the whole day long” C McKay

Scottish Poetry Lib ‏ @ByLeavesWeLive
“For one brief golden moment rare like wine,/The gracious city swept across the line/Oblivious of the color of my skin.” Claude McKay

Scottish Poetry Lib ‏ @ByLeavesWeLive
”I must not see upon your face/Love’s softly glowing spark;/For there’s the barrier of race,/You’re fair and I am dark.” Claude McKay