Monday, December 2, 2013

11 Ways How Social Media Fuels EuroMaidan

Since November 21, people of Ukraine have been protesting against government’s suspension of preparations for the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. By November 24 there were at least 100,000 of people at the main square (Maidan) in Kyiv and numerous demonstrations abroad, expressing their support for the path to EU integration.

When president Yanukovych failed to sign the agreement at the summit in Vilnius on November 28, which would enable free trade with the EU and release ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko from prison, Ukrainians in various cities of Ukraine and abroad took massively to the streets. Although the demonstrations were initially started by the students, people of different backgrounds and ages have joined the rallies, after their hopes for better (European) future have been betrayed. 

The Ukrainian government has motivated its decision by intense pressure from Russia. Yet Ukraine being a sovereign state, such a reason seems as an excuse, which derails the country from the path of much needed economic modernization by preferring an easier Russian-led customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan. The unjustifiably high price for the latter is independence of Ukraine.  

Tweets of the Commissioner responsible for enlargement and European neighbourhood policy

The Powerful Role of Social Media in Ukraine’s Euromaidan Movement

The protests and the spirit that has taken over Ukraine recently resembles Orange Revolution, which took place 9 years ago. Yet one of the differences between EuroMaidan and Orange Revolution is ubiquitous social media. The other one is the government’s brutal style to crackdown on its own people. There has been lots of criticism of clicktivism, but it has become evident that social media is a powerful tool in mobilizing people and resources, as exemplified by the events in Ukraine.

1. Hashtag #Euromaidan (#євромайдан) is used for facilitating online searching, integrating and following numerous posts and comments on Facebook, Google +, Twitter and blogs. Since Ukraine’s media channels are infamous for censorship, internet users flocked to social media in order to find out and spread real news, and attract attention of international media.

Rise of #euromaidan in search over the last 30 days

Rise of #euromaidan  in Ukrainian in search over the last 30 days
128,000 followers and growing! English version has around 4,386 followers so far

2. Ustream has been used to broadcast situation from EuMaidan real time. The first person who used it was a student from Kyiv-Politechnic University, who showed to the nation what’s going on at the streets at night. Afterwards Oleksandr Aronets, Spilno-TV (more than 2,7 mln views) and others have been consistently covering developments on Maidan. 
this transmission had around 2,690 mln views

3. Public media project, helps to see truth as it happens. It has been launched to fill in a media gap, created by national channels. Hromadske shows only material crowdsourced from the independent journalists and provides regular updates on the protests. 

4. Google Earth helped to locate the estate and uncover a lavish lifestyle of president of Ukraine. According to Ukrainska Pravda website, his residence at Mezhygir’ya is huge enough to accommodate a golf course, helicopter pad, horse riding and yacht clubs, artificial lake and a villa, that is an example of high-level corruption, hypocrisy and kitsch.

5. Google Map is a great way to show that Ukrainians around the world organized events and rallied in support of Euromaidan. This map was created by Bohdan Tsap, who collected data and photos from Ukrainians as far as South Korea and even from brave demonstrators at Moscow's Red Square!

6. Online petition has gathered more than 100,000 signatures, calling on the US government to consider sanctions against the corrupt Ukrainian president and his gang

7. Twitter is used as an excellent platform for sharing active citizen's and opposition leaders’ opinions and calls for action, as well as medium for releasing censored infographics and controversial magazine illustrations

How much is Yanukovych worth in UAH

This magazine’s edition was banned from circulation earlier this year.
Translation of the title: Putin and Kids
Spreading good cheer online, a lovely and funny folk song, dedicated to Maidan

8. After brutal crackdown of peaceful demonstrators at 4 am on Saturday morning 30.11.2013, citizens in Ukraine woke up to the criminal use of power by President Yanukovych towards his own people. Instantly Youtube has become filled with videos, shot by journalists who were covering the events on Maidan. Along with young people who remained guarding their pro-European choice on Maidan, national and international journalists were violently beaten up by police and special forces Berkut. This was an unprecedented attack upon civil society in the history of Ukraine, documented and uploaded rapidly on Youtube and circulated on social media, quickly picked up by international community.
a vivid and bloody video recording of the event uploaded by Mustafa Nayem was removed, it had 800,000 views!

The official explanation of the atrocity against unarmed people was that the square had to be cleared for Christmas tree and New Year holiday preparations...

Have seen what happened on Friday night, outraged people massively took to the streets, learning from social media channels that the new place for gathering is Mykhailivska square. Around 1 million people got together in Kyiv on Sunday, who claimed back Maidan, took hold of the Kyiv City Administration’s building, which serves as HQ for national self-defense. 

9. Portraits of activists and protesters are now available on Flickr. These are faces of Ukrainians who are fighting for change and its country's freedom.

EuroMaidan@Ukraine set by Nessa Gnatoush

10. Relief website is a voluntary independent website, helping people in Kyiv to locate places with first-aid, free accommodation, hot drinks and food, as well as to find missing persons. Anyone who wants to help, can offer their support via this website, sms or iPhone or Android apps. 

11. Crowdfundraising 

The online project on, entitled "Warm up and Feed Euromaidan" aims to collect 100,000 UAH (around 9,000 euro), emulating kickstarter model. So far a half of the amount has been collected. ( days are left to hit the target. In this way everyone who cannot join the peaceful revolution, can donate not only their tweets, but also hryvnia.

Social media helped to bring people offline and unite them not around politicians, but around a hope for better future of Ukraine.

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