Moldova Protests

Connectivity plays an important role in social media activism as it allows the masses to reach out to one another. Social media, a modern communication tool, allows connectivity amongst likeminded people and grants the ability to mobilise, coordinate, and disseminate in a fast manner.

In the past, connectivity was aided by local influence such as in the case of the Arab Spring with Asmaa Mahfouz’s video, calling all to take action. Similarly, it was two youth movements, Hyde Park and ThinkMoldova, who organised the 2009 “I am not a Communist” protest through networks such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, SMSs, and emails.

The result ended up with a large group of people, disputed to be between a few hundred and 15,000, turning up to protest in Chisinau’s central square, Piața Marii Adunări Naționale. Unexpectedly, the protest turned violent with people throwing stones at the parliament building which was also set on fire.

Current political protests in Moldova involve 6 years of political dissatisfaction coming to ahead with the loss of a 7th of the country’s GDP, bringing up to 100,000 people to the streets in outrage. Twitter is being used in this protest with the people converging at Piața Marii Adunări Naționale with #pman being brought back into use from the 2009 protests.

References:

Barry, E 2009, ‘Protests in Moldova Explode, With Help of Twitter,’ New York Times, 7 April, viewed 27 September 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/world/europe/08moldova.html?_r=0

Brett, D, Knott, E, Popșoi, M 2015, The ‘Billion Dollar Protests’ in Moldova are Threatening the Survival of the Country’s Political Elite, LSE, viewed 27 September 2015, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2015/09/21/the-billion-dollar-protests-in-moldova-are-threatening-the-survival-of-the-countrys-political-elite/

Mitew, T 2014a, The Social Network Revolutions: #mena #arabspring #maidan [part 1], Online Video, YouTube, viewed 27 September 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt3gzJ9tB7w&list=PLiPp71qLKusXOU1bKxHVappCbRNN3-J-j&index=31

Mitew, T 2014b, The Social Network Revolutions: #mena #arabspring #maidan [part 2], Online Video, YouTube, viewed 27 September 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwT-eFj8qgA&list=PLiPp71qLKusXOU1bKxHVappCbRNN3-J-j&index=32

Mitew, T 2014c, The Social Network Revolutions: #mena #arabspring #maidan [part 3], Online Video, YouTube, viewed 27 September 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZH-OLNN2IY&list=PLiPp71qLKusXOU1bKxHVappCbRNN3-J-j&index=33

Mitew, T 2014d, The Social Network Revolutions: #mena #arabspring #maidan [part 4], Online Video, YouTube, viewed 27 September 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8825RLzypM&index=34&list=PLiPp71qLKusXOU1bKxHVappCbRNN3-J-j

Mitew, T 2014e, The Social Network Revolutions: #mena #arabspring #maidan [part 5], Online Video, YouTube, viewed 27 September 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FbzHUhT6QQ&index=35&list=PLiPp71qLKusXOU1bKxHVappCbRNN3-J-j

Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chisinau_riot_2009-04-07_17.jpg

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8 thoughts on “Moldova Protests

  1. Hey Jacob, great post! You’ve provided detailed insight towards this campaign #pman (which I was personally unfamiliar with) and this forms an effective case study for the topic of the week, so great work! However, I am a little confused in regards to the point your meme is trying to make.
    This campaign is a perfect example to illustrate the power that clicktivism has in terms of dissemination, the organizers would almost have never gained 15,000 supporters without the use of social media. But however, this obviously influences the voice of critics claiming that social media is just an organisational tool as well http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/10/04/small-change-malcolm-gladwell.
    Great work again man !

  2. Nice work with this post, you’ve chosen a good example to show the utility of social media has in relation to protesting which not many people are probably aware of.

    I think even just the fact that the Moldovan government cut off internet service in Chisinau in 2009 more or less shows the power that social media can have to mobilise, organise, and coordinate protests and protesters. Without the use of social media it would be almost impossible to quickly organise a protest with more than 10,000 people.

  3. Hi Jacob,
    Great work with your post, and in finding an excellent case study to illustrate social media’s role in mobilization, coordination and dissemination of people and information. (Like JesseMax I was unfamiliar with these events in 2009, and was confused when I saw your meme with ‘#pman’ and first thought “What does PacMan have to do with anything?”)
    I think today, in order to gain any real impact for any major protest, the use of social media is not only phenomenally helpful, but it is necessary. There’s just no way to amass the levels of awareness or participation we see in these events without the internet and social media. Connectivity is key, and I believe the greatest evidence of this is when governments and authorities take the extreme reaction in forcing internet blackouts, such as in Arab Springs. Why go to such trouble if social media had no impact?
    Great research went to making a great post! Well done :).

  4. Gone are the days of trying to hand out flyers and by the time you have reached everyone the cause has died. I like how you emphasised the fact that Twitter connects likeminded people and does it at such a fast pace. Powerful. Well done.

  5. Hi Jacob,

    Awesome case study. This was something that I was unfamiliar of myself, but alas, the dialogic power of the internet has resulted in me coming across your blog post and now joining in on the conversation. Although the text component of your blog was really informative and very much in tune with this week’s topic, I too, did not really grasp your meme to it’s full effect. I’ve found this great site that may give you a few tips for future memes that you might find interesting – http://www.inboundnow.com/7-expert-tips-for-creating-and-sharing-viral-ready-marketing-memes/
    You obviously have great information to share, so it would be a shame for your message to not have as strong a presence because of a misunderstood meme.

  6. Hey Jacob 🙂
    Great well informed blog
    I am personally unfamiliar with #pman campaign and your blog was great in terms of it being easy to understand
    who knew that social media would one day be thing big! especially Twitter being used for supporting each other in times of need
    Powerful blog well done 🙂

  7. Your blog was really well put together! I previously hadn’t heard about the #pman and Moldova Protests so it was extremely informative for me as you went with a somewhat less known example which was good! I think the ways in which you could improve your blog would be maybe making the meme separate from your text a bit as it just restates what you have said in the text with a photo of the protest and isn’t as engaging as it could be.

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