Invisible Children #Kony2012

March 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

I know this isn’t something I normally post about, but this is definitely worth talking about.

Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord Resistance Army (LRA), better known as “the rebels” to Ugandans. Kony and the LRA, abduct, rape and kill children in Uganda, and in many other African countries. He takes children out of their homes, and forces the girls to become sex slaves and the boys to become child soldiers, forced to kill their parents and kill and mutilate innocent people.

This is a man who must be stopped. Jason Russell created a movement called Invisible Children that can help change the world. Through social media and word of mouth, people around the world, especially in the U.S. are getting involved to help raise awareness about Kony and stop him from abducting and killing children. President Obama sent 100 U.S. troops into Uganda to work with the Ugandan Army in finding and stopping Kony.

The only way to make sure the U.S. troops aren’t pulled from Uganda is to make sure Americans don’t lose interest in the cause. How are we going to do this? Keep talking about it! Tweet about it, post it on facebook and Google+, write about it and tell everyone you can. Make sure President Obama doesn’t pull our troops out of Uganda, because if they’re needed anywhere right now, it’s in Africa to stop Kony.

Although there have been some controversial articles about the intentions of Invisible Children, I believe that it’s a cause with good intentions to raise awareness about the issue. Like any other cause some of the money donated will to go to staff salaries, promotion and advertising, but the point here is to raise awareness about Kony, and isn’t that what Invisible Children is doing? Let me be clear, I’m not asking anyone to donate money to Invisible Children, I’m simply asking that we all help to raise awareness about Kony and Invisible Children is doing a good job of doing just that.

Please watch this video and spread the word.

 

Court Ordered Facebook Apology

March 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

A court ordered facebook apology. That’s a new one, right? Mark Byron was ordered to apologize to his wife via facebook or face jail time after posting a rude status update. Mark and Elizabeth’s marriage began to get rocky after having their son in July of 2010. Elizabeth then began claiming that Mark verbally abused and physically threatened her.

According to the Cincinnati news, after being exonerated of criminal charges, a civil protective order was issued against Mark, ordering him to stay away from his wife. Frustrated with the court and his wife, Mark wrote, “…if you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband’s life and take your son’s father away from him completely – all you need to do is say that you’re scared of your husband or domestic partner…” on his own facebook wall.

Even though he had blocked his wife from his facebook page and the post was not addressed to her, she found the post and reported it to the judge. She believed it violated a court order, stating that Mark was not to, “to suffer physical and/or mental abuse, harassment, annoyance, or bodily injury.”

The court gave Mark an option, either go to jail for 60 days or post apologies on his facebook wall for thirty days. According to the Cincinnati news, free-speech expert Jack Greiner said, “The idea that a court can say ‘I order you not to post something or to post something’ seems to me to be a First Amendment issue.”

“The court’s order to compel speech is as much a violation of the First Amendment as suppressing free speech,” Greiner said.

Hanni Fakhoury, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation said, “Forcing someone to speak as punishment for speaking” could violate Mark Byron’s free speech rights.

If you ask me, I agree with Greiner and Fakhoury. Forcing someone to apologize or face jail time isn’t giving them much of a choice. What do you think? Did the court violate Mark’s First amendment rights?

Photo Credit: http://www.rivertoncity.com/departments.justicecourt.html

Twitter and the Presidential Election

February 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

TV and Twitter tend to coincide. Whether it’s during the Superbowl, the Grammys or the newest episode of The Bachelor people are tweeting while watching. This also means it’s very likely that people are voicing their opinions via Twitter during the presidential debates.

According to TechCrunch, South Carolina tested this theory with their Republican debate by having viewers tweet the candidate’s name and #dodge or #answer in regards to how well the candidate answered his or her questions. Participants were asked to tweet during breaks and after the debate. The results were displayed in a graph showing how well the public believed the candidates answered their debate questions. The only problem? Fox didn’t show the candidates the results in real time because, “influencers and technologists might be overrepresented.”

If you’re not going to show the candidates what people are saying in real time, then what’s the point of creating a real time, online conversation about the debate? If I thought candidates were “dodging” questions, I would want to give them a chance to backpedal and fully answer the question.

So, what if our tweets were broadcast in real time to the candidates during the presidential debate? Obviously there would need to be someone monitoring the chat or chaos would ensue, but that would at least answer some of our key questions. At minimum, the candidates would know when the people watching the debate believe they are not fully answering the questions presented. Real time opinions broadcast to the candidates might even improve the transparency of this year’s presidential election. Food for thought.

Photo Credit: http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/15/flock-the-vote/

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