Posts tagged online campaigns
It’s about time Lebanese mainstream media leveraged their power to promote social change in Lebanon. LBC’s Cheyef 7alak is a new initiative that is actively utilizing social media to encourage (well, by first embarrassing) respect among citizens in Lebanon.
One of their categories is about traffic. We’ve all been there. Their video and photo galleries poke fun at our weird attitudes towards driving. I’m not sure if they are aware of it, but they’re also critiquing the link between masculinity and road rage, which is a terrific thing!
Their most popular campaign to date has been about the simple courtesy of standing in line (a rare phenomenon in Lebanon) and their latest is about corruption. Check out the video below and follow them on Facebook and Twitter to engage!
Activists in Egypt launched a campaign to blog and tweet about sexual harassment on Monday, June 20. The team behind the Adventures of Salwa joined the campaign as well with a parallel blogging day in Lebanon. Please join this very important cause – you can make a difference by adding your voice to ours on June 20!
Put up a blog post on Monday with a personal story, an opinion, an illustration, a rant, a call to action – anything that raises awareness about sexual harassment in your city.
Tweeps & Facebookers
Help spread & share the blog posts using the hashtag #EndSH. Tweet and status your experiences and opinions too.
- Qaweme Harassment – a blog gathering reports of sexual harassment around Lebanon.
- Adventures of Salwa – the campaign against sexual harassment in Lebanon.
- New Video: Resist Harassment – raising awareness on everyday racist & sexist behavior on the streets of Beirut.
Hello friends! On Monday, January 17, I will be turning twenty-nine. W00t! This year, I am asking you for a special wish that will make me and my loved ones (you) very happy. Instead of buying me gifts and wishing me happy birthday on my Facebook wall, please consider donating a book to the newly-formed Nasawiya Library of awesome activist resources.
If you are in Lebanon, head down to a bookstore this weekend and buy a book (you can still gift-wrap it) or if you are abroad, please order using the Antoine Online bookstore and they will deliver to Nasawiya (heik you don’t have to pay shipping charges). That way we fill up the library with some great books for me and all of our activists to read. #creativefundraising
Here are a few suggestions with links to help you out. Or pick something you think our library should have of your own choosing and *cough* make sure it’s exchangeable *cough.* Oh, and email me or message me on FB when you’ve done so, so I can make sure it arrives at the Nouse. My goal is 29 books!
The Nasawiya address to use is: 1st floor, Braidi Building, Chahrouri Area, Achrafieh. Facing Laure Moghaizel School for Girls. Telephone: 01 216 984.
Or you can just send me a gift certificate and I’ll buy the book with it.
Thank you very much! And Happy Birthday to me
We were on a mission this weekend to raise global twitter awareness about the Freedom Flotilla heading towards Gaza with tons of aid supplies. The organizers were doing an amazing job with social media, tweeting live from the boats, video live streaming, as well as Google-mapping their locations in the sea on the hour. We wanted to amplify those efforts.
Before the Attack
We tweeted and tweeted and #flotilla did not trend, although it was technically ahead of many trending topics over 24 hours. Even the Jerusalem Post recognized the phenomenal effort we put. I flipped through the TV channels and found no news covering the topic, except for occasional updates from Al Jazeera. By 5am Beirut time, over 13,000 viewers had been watching the live stream continuously for hours. The flotilla had been surrounded by Israeli warships and air force. Nobody reported about it. I stupidly thought there was no way Israel would attack the activists, who all appeared in positive, high spirits on the live stream. One young woman, an Arab American laughed and said to the camera she apologizes to her family for not telling them she was going to Gaza again. She was really cool. Max, I thought, the Israeli warships would block the flotilla near Gaza and escort them to the tents they had prepared in Ashdod. How else does one deal with a peaceful, non-violent protest?
And so, I went to sleep, waiting to hear the news of the flotilla in the morning. I woke up to the horror that 16 activists had been killed and that the flotilla had been captured by the Israeli military. I was shocked and speechless for a good hour. #Flotilla had risen to over 0.7% on twitter but still wasn’t trending. It is undoubtedly a case of censorship. I challenge anyone to tell me it wasn’t. I saved all the graphs. @ShantDotMe suggested that we try and trend another term since twitter must have blocked #Flotilla. I figured they also had the excuse of flotilla being a common noun, so I suggested we go for #FreedomFlotilla. An hour later, both “Gaza Flotilla” and #FreedomFlotilla were trending and have been for the past couple of hours.
We did not mean for #Flotilla to trend because of a massacre. No, that was not our purpose at all. We wanted #Flotilla to trend while the boats were on their way towards Gaza so that the world could follow what was happening.
The Wrong Kind of Trending
But all of that doesn’t matter. We did not mean for #Flotilla to trend because of a massacre. No, that was not our purpose at all. We wanted #Flotilla to trend while the boats were on their way towards Gaza so that the world could follow what was happening. We wanted the world to follow the facts, to meet the faces on board the boats, to see the situation unfold in front of their eyes. The Zionist propaganda machine is extremely powerful and it was on full speed last night with arguments like: people on the flotilla are armed, they are on their way to murder thousands of Israelis, they are smuggling guns to give to Hamas, all bullshit accusations. The Gaza Freedom Flotilla was an international group of over 700 people from 40 different countries, carrying thousands of tons of aid to the Palestinians who have been under siege for over 1080 days. Do you think they would be brave enough to sail to Gaza, knowing the threat they were under, if their purpose was to smuggle arms? Of course the point was not only to deliver the aid; they were on a political action to break the siege. Their action was brave and courageous and pacifist and non-violent. The world continues to be silent about the siege. Gazans continue to suffer. And so the activists wanted to wake the world up by sailing straight to Gaza through international waters.
And so, what is Israel to do in the face of non-violent protest? First, of course, Israel tries to play the innocent helpful role: give us the aid, we will deliver it ourselves, knowing the organizers would not agree because this is not an isolated incident of sending aid to Gaza. This is a political message to break the siege. Second, of course, Israel tries to delegitimize the non-violence, accusing the activists of “provoking” the Israeli warships. But who provoked who really? Israel taunted the activists, circling them by sea and sky, in international waters, signaling and threatening to take action. The flotilla boats then huddled close together and diverted their course a little in order to avoid the clash with the Israeli warships, and their spirits remained high. The Zionist taunting did not work. Israel weighs out the options:
- Attack the flotilla, kill a few people, scare everyone from ever attempting such actions again, take a tiny bit of criticism, remain protected by impunity, whitewash the crime with excuses of self-defense, and come out of it unscathed; or
- allow the activists to reach Gaza, break the siege, deliver some aid, and give hope to thousands of other activists that non-violent marches (or sails) actually work?
The choice is obvious. The Israelis thus act ruthlessly – even in the face of such non-violence – to scare the hell out of these activists and any others. Their message is clear: you cannot resist Zionism, not even non-violently. They will shut down every glimpse of it lest it grow too powerful. And no, my dear Arab leaders, you are not getting off the hook so easily. All of you are racing now to denounce the attacks on the flotilla. Where were you a few days ago when the mission needed your support? Where are all the other boat and ships from all the other countries to join the flotilla? Astankir, nastankir.. shut the fuck up!
So. Israel knew exactly what to do. The question now is: what are we to do? Our choice is just as obvious.
Friends, it is once again time to use social media to get a message across to the world. A flotilla of boats carrying human rights activists is right now on its way to Gaza via international waters in order to break the Israeli siege and deliver aid to the people. Will they succeed in their mission? Will they make history? What can we do to support them?
Let’s trend #flotilla on twitter all day tomorrow, Sunday, May 30, by tweeting news, thoughts, and links about the Freedom Flotilla’s trajectory to Gaza. Once we trend it, millions of people will see the term and click on it to find out what it means and why it’s trending. We will also be providing moral support and sailing (twailing?) in solidarity with the brave activists risking their lives on board the flotilla. Here’s what you can do:
- Be online on Sunday, May 30 starting 12pm Cairo time (5am New York time) and throughout the day. We want to get #flotilla trending by the early afternoon and keep it trending through the night.
- Let us know you have joined us. Sign up here or tweet to @nmoawad or @justicentric.
- Recruit fellow tweeps to join us.
- Use Facebook to get the message across.
- Get more information here: http://www.gazafreedommarch.org/cms/en/flotilla.aspx and here.
- Follow all the tweets on the #flotilla here.
Group trending is a lot of fun & will connect you to so many wonderful new tweeps. So get on board; we need every tweet. When tweeting, take note to:
- Hash #Flotilla only once (or else it doesn’t count).
- Don’t use the automatic retweet button (or else your tweet doesn’t count).
- Tweet often but not more than once or twice a minute (or else your account will get blocked).
- Tweet useful information about the #flotilla and #Gaza. Our mission is to raise awareness, not simple to trend.
It’s very short notice but we can do it!
Labor Day is coming up, 3eed Al 3ommal, on May 1st, and we are recognizing on this day the illegal, outrageous, and unethical working conditions of migrant work in Lebanon – and across the Arab world. The campaign initiated by @simby is called Twenty-Four-Seven and it highlights the fact that domestic migrant workers in Lebanon work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Yes, they do. Can you imagine working with your boss 24/7? It is called slavery.
So this week, I, along with many friends, will be blogging and tweeting to raise awareness about migrant work. I thought I would start with an honest attempt to deconstruct my own racism and think about how I, Nadine, really view race. Often, activists are quick to adopt causes just because someone they admire said so, or because the theory of it sounds logical and in line with their politics. But we cannot deal with issues in others, my friends, until we have deconstructed them in ourselves. And so, I, while claiming to be active on the rights of domestic workers in Lebanon, still have a long way to go to undo all the racism (blatant and invisible) embedded in my head. I will start this process of deconstruction by writing out things I have done that I consider racist. Here is the first story:
The nawateer (concierges) of the building where my parents live are a couple from Sri Lanka. I have bumped into the woman hundreds of times over the past few years, and when I do, I smile and say hello and she does the same. Earlier this month, I was passing through the building and saw her a little far away and wanted to call her to ask her something about the electricity. That’s when it occurred to me that I don’t know what her name is. I tired to search my memory as I was sure I must know her name, having known her for many years, but there it was: no name. I didn’t bother, all these years, to even ask or learn what her name was. I felt so ashamed of myself. Is it even possible to look at or treat someone as an equal human being if you never learn their name? If they have no name to you? No. Think of how offended people get when you can’t remember their name. It is insulting.
But it is a widespread practice in Lebanon. We call migrant women by their nationality “Sri Lankiyyi!” or by their country “Sri Lanka!” or by a nickname “Saki” instead of “Sakthipriyah,” for example. One common practice is to call migrant women by a different name all together, such as “Mary,” because their real names are difficult to pronounce for Arabs. Well, we can exert just a tiny bit of effort to learn to pronounce Sinhala or Tagalog or Nepalese names instead of ripping people of their individual identities and lumping them all into the same person: the migrant woman. Otherwise, we are perpetuating racism.
But I am not one to talk before I go to my parents’ house and find the woman who takes care of the building and apologize to her for not knowing her name and ask her what it is and tell her it is a beautiful name and write in on my hand until I learn to pronounce it properly and then use it when I say hello to her.
Maybe that is a first step in deconstructing my own racism towards migrants. I will write more about it this week as we campaign around #24seven. I urge you all to do the same. Let us talk about our own racism, even those of us who think we are progressive activists.
I thought “Tweet and Blog” was too long, so I made it Twog Ok, so Simba Russeau and her fellow activists on migrant rights are organizing some events in Lebanon to raise awareness in the lead up to Labor Day. Migrants from South Asia, South-East Asia, and Africa come to Lebanon to work and often find themselves toiling under inhuman conditions without the possibility of an exit. It is, without a doubt, modern day slavery. And although there is more and more talk around it in the region, we have done little on the ground to fight the oppressive system.
And so, this Labor Day 2010, as we celebrate our right to a day off from being such hard workers, let us work to raise awareness about migrant rights in our Arab countries by blogging and tweeting. Here’s what you can do:
- Tweet thoughts, ideas, links to articles, and information about migrant rights intensively the week of April 24 – May 1st. Use the #migrantrights hashtag. We are not trying to trend, but we are trying to raise lots of awareness and get conversations going.
- Write up a blog post during the week and publicize the link on your Facebook and social networks. Send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org who will be aggregating all blogs for the week.
- Recruit your friends to do the same.
- Think of more creative ideas like a Facebook action, shared profile pic, twibbon, etc.. and post them here in the comments or send to Simba directly.
- Anyone who’d like to design a badge for this campaign is very welcome.
Also, here are some ideas I had for blog posts, so that we make sure that they are not all the same:
- Interview a migrant worker. Ask him/her about their journey here and their work here.
- Interview a migrant worker on camera. Post his/her interview on YouTube.
- Analyze the problem with migrant labor from a political or social perspective. Focus on either the gender aspect, the class struggle, or our inherent racism, to cite a few examples.
- Talk about the situation in your country in particular.. what is it like for Sudanese workers in Egypt? Egyptian workers in Lebanon? Sri Lankan women in Dubai? Nepalese women in Jordan?
- Propose solutions. Write up brainstorming posts where you think of campaigns, projects, events, programs, organizations that can work on ending the injustice.
- Elaborate on the feminist analysis of migrant worker rights: household work as unpaid work, gender dynamics in the household, violence from women against other women, domestic violence & violence against domestic workers, sexual assault on migrant women, trafficking of migrant women, violence against women within the migrant communities, and other examples.
- Celebrate the culture of a non-Arab country from which many migrate to Arab states. I can think of Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and the Philippines (but that might be just from a Lebanese experience). Post a tribute by raising your friends and followers’ awareness about the richness of these cultures, histories, languages, and music.
If you’re interested in helping to organize, get in touch and I will add you to a google ground we’ve just created for Twog organizers.
The Shorty Awards finale is here! We’ve got until 7pm (Beirut time) on Friday, February 5 to vote for Ali Abunimah al molakkab bi @avinunu on twitter. I don’t need to go into the details of why this is important, but to recap: it raises awareness, it fights back the slander (and since last week Ali has been getting TONS of online slander by zionist propagandists), it brings activists for Palestine together, it gives us hope that small actions on our part can fight the seemingly all-powerful zionist machine. And all it takes is really a couple of minutes.
Ali is leading now by a small margin of votes but his opponent (who has 55,000 followers!) is always making comebacks. So even if we’re leading, keep on voting! Here are some of the basics:
- To vote, tweet this: “I vote for @avinunu for a Shorty Award in #politics because…” and put a reason after “because..” or else it won’t count. Also, your reason must be unique & real. Don’t put anything hateful towards the opponent or anything silly. Lost for a reason? Google Ali. You can also do this at the voting page.
- If you voted during the nomination phase, you don’t need to vote again – you will still only count once. You can, however, re-vote to updated your reason if you feel your reason wasn’t that good. They take the last votes.
- Now is the time to RECRUIT actively to get others to vote too. Shorty Awards are monitored by real people, so they will check the accounts voting. If an account was just created, it is disqualified or if it never tweets, it is disqualified too. So take a few minutes please to recruit friends and supporters of Palestine to vote for Ali (and to recruit others in turn). You can do this by tweeting something like “Please encourage your friends to vote for @avinunu in Shorty Awards. We need 100s more people to win!” or DM-ing them (don’t spam). Or you can go back to traditional methods and call them, email them, or tell to vote when you bump into them in a cafe.
- Use other channels like Facebook and blogs to tell people about this campaign.
- Monitor the results live! It’s really exciting
This is going to be a quick post because I need to get dressed & go to work, but I wanted to give a summary of our spur-of-the-moment campaign yesterday:
I saw a tweet by @RedPlebiscite mentioning how pissed off he was that a zionist was leading the Shorty Awards list in politics. Of course I had heard of the Shorty Awards but didn’t really care much for them. But then when I saw the zionist nomination page accusing the #Gaza activists of being murderers and terrorists (again), I figured we shouldn’t shut up about anything – especially the allegations made online – not even the littlest thing! This is what we are fighting: “#justice will occur when Israel flattens #Gaza, dear” (click on image below)
And so we came together again and I suggested nominating Ali Abunimah @avinunu because he really is one of our best and most active voices on Palestine and human rights today. Google him. The decision was unanimous! It was like an awesome reunion of all the #Gaza tweeters – all of us spreading the word from 2am (Beirut time) till now – which is 8am. The trick this time, however, is that every one of our voices counts as just one. We need to recruit more people. And indeed, at the time of writing this post, we had gotten up to 179 votes for @avinunu. This is our standing now[8am GMT+2]:
@avinunu is in third place lagging less than 120 votes behind the zionist propagandist although he only has 1,500 followers whereas the other dude has 55,000! AND, we only started campaigning for Ali tonight, whereas the other dude had been campaigning for weeks now. The voting closes January 30th at 10am (Beirut/Cairo time) – so please get everyone you know to vote here: http://shortyawards.com/avinunu and bear in mind that only votes from active accounts are counted. Here are some of the tips:
- It is preferable to vote using the box on the page: http://shortyawards.com/avinunu
- Make sure you put a reason after “because…” or else it doesn’t count.
- Your vote is only counted once even if you tweet a nomination a million times.
- There is some formula for counting ranks. You can read about it on their “How It Works” page. That’s how Ali’s ahead of RayBeckerman too although the latter has more votes. But I’m not sure how it works. Anyone?
- Follow the competition in the #Politics category here.
- I am not sure what happens afterwards; the rules say the Top5 become finalists (?) if anyone knows more, please share the info in the comment box.
- Vote! And when you’ve voted, recruit fellow supporters of Palestine to vote! The zionists have already smeared Ali online nominating him for antisemite and terrorist awards. Shuf! And they will continue to do so. So let’s all take a stand for the truth about Palestine
Updates as the day progresses…
It’s 3am [+2 GMT] now and Ali has been winning all day! He is now at 433 votes; almost 100 ahead of his competitor. We did it. We are the people. Let us wait and see what the committee of the Shorty Awards has to say about that.
I made some edits (in red) on December 28.
We did it! We trended #Gaza on twitter on the day that commemorated the start of the brutal 22-day Israeli war and siege on Gaza. It was an incredible day. #Gaza trended into the Top 10 for a good 9 hours at least (at the time of writing this post). Wow. So a quick recap of how it went:
- By Sunday morning, we had 74 people signed up to tweet for Gaza between 5pm and 9pm.
- I got online around noon and saw that Gaza had already risen to 0.4% Many tweeps were already online tweeting heavily for Gaza. @gyonis suggested that we try and get half-way up the trending chart by the start of the campaign. @justicentric and @smileandsubvert were tweeting insanely. Spirits were high and more people were getting online and tweeting for Gaza. Some had prepared tweets beforehand, which was very smart. And then, around 1.30 pm, #Gaza appeared on the Top 10 Trending Topics of Twitter! Of course, @justicentric was the first to notice it, cos he was monitoring all the stats like a hawk. A bit before 2pm, it was at #9:
- We went insane! We ran around (metaphorically, on twitter) not knowing what to do. We had broken into the Trending 10 already, so we couldn’t stop. We had to keep on going. Everyone was nailed to their computers or phones, tweeting, re-tweeting, linking, sharing. And @Palaestina who had AMAZING tweets lined up, including the names of every child who was killed in Gaza, got blocked. Barely after s/he warned us about it, other active members, included myself, also got blocked. We opened new accounts immediately and tweeted from there until they unblocked our accounts (which was an average of 45 minutes later). @uruknet and other tweeps reported getting blocked for up to 3.5 hours. The blocking was fishy and didn’t make a lot of sense, so you can see some ideas being bounced in the comments about why this happened. I definitely think we were being reported by people who didn’t want #Gaza to trend.
- Very quickly, #Gaza fluctuated between #7 and #8 on twitter. Hopes were very high! We couldn’t believe we had made it so early on. Over 300 tweeps had signed on to the #Gaza twibbon.
- Everything was going great.. It was close to 4pm and we were at #5! We were figuring out the techniques of trending something on twitter. Multiple hashes don’t count. The new RT function doesn’t count. Too many RTs get you blocked or helps your rivals report you as spam. Zionist assholes started showing up and promoting us all as anti-Semites. People were waking up and asking what #Gaza meant. It was awesome! This screenshot is me tweeting from my other account (cos twitter blocked me, remember?) That’s why it’s in blue:
- People were logging in and feeling so energized to see Gaza trending already, so they boosted with great tweets. I was so sure we were going to hit number one any second. And then came Hayley.
- Who Hayley is I don’t know and I don’t care to google. It was her birthday today, so suddenly (and very illogically), HappyBdayHayley shot to number 1. It didn’t make any sense! Look at the difference between #Gaza and #HappyBdayHaley on trendistic in the screenshot below. That’s us in red. How could #HappyBdayHayley shoot to number one? What made it even weirder is that @zalface discovered many spam bots like this one: @carolmeatsix that were spamming twitter with #HappyBdayHayley for hours at very high rates. How come they didn’t get blocked? This adds to our suspicion that we were being reported by people.
- The only sense we could make was that twitter didn’t want #Gaza to trend. And after HappyBdayHayley came HappyBdayHayleyBR – the Brazilian version – also trending! Ridiculous! But still, the tweeters kept signing on, news, links, videos, feelings, thoughts, cartoons, blog posts, stories, all sorts of expressions kept flowing onto twitter, all for Gaza, the Gaza Freedom March, and Viva Palestina. Eventually, we made it to #3. Yep. We hit Trending Topic Number 3 on twitter at 7:39 (+2GMT). Here’s the screenshot!
- We tried really hard after that, but couldn’t get it past #3. I believe we were stopped there on purpose. Further proof is that twitter never allowed #Gaza to appear on its main page for before you sign in. I watched it for more than 10 hours. Even when we hit and stayed on the top 5, #Gaza never showed on the main twitter.com. I was actually corrected about this by @Stand4Liberty who sent me a screenshot (below) of #Gaza appearing on the sign-in page briefly when we were top-trending. Did twitter block #Gaza from getting to #1 on purpose? Maybe, maybe not. I really don’t know. I do, however, think it is pointless to waste our time wondering if it did. We still trended for > 10 hours!
- We kept on tweeting through the night. By 11pm, #Gaza had dropped off the Top Ten Trending completely, but is still going pretty well. All in all, the feeling of being part of this campaign was amazing! We trended by the time the tweeters in North American (twitter’s largest demographic) woke up. Lots of people said they learned a lot about Gaza and Palestine today. We outnumbered the Zionist tweeters by far. By the time of posting, people who supported the #Gaza twibbon were 460 and their total followers were 379,307. @justicentric says he got over 10,000 clicks on the links he put out today, not including the links from re-tweets. @Razaniyyat and @uruknet‘s tweets were loaded with informative links and resources. @MXML wasn’t online but s/he scheduled beautifully thought-provoking tweets about Palestine and Gaza. @GhadeerM tweeted for Gaza from all her heart – although only last week she didn’t know what twitter was. There was something beautiful in all of us, strangers, coming together, from all over the world, talking collectively about a cause that matters to us, achieving a goal together. Solidarity. Using a new, creative, youthful strategy. Away from the usual rhetoric, the usual groups, politicians, and religions that hijack the Palestinian cause.
- What comes next, I’m not sure. But we’ve found each other and we’ve accomplished something together with the help of very little: a couple of blog posts, a few tweets, and a google document. Let’s all watch and tweet for the Gaza Freedom March for the next week, and all ideas of what activism we can come up with using this new network we’ve created are welcome. Make sure you join the Palestine Action Network on Facebook so we can contact you later for other campaign ideas! Thank you everybody!
I end with a beautiful tweet from @ajit8uk that just came up:
“We got to 3. We are the people. No one owns this earth. NO ONE. #GAZA”