World/National Headlines | June 10, 2009 | Tweeting the revolution, Peru cover-up


Tweeting the revolution A Harvard study finds that 10 percent of Twitter users generate 90 percent of all tweets, reports BBC. Twitter has 10 million users worldwide, with uses ranging from socializing among friends to news alerts and micro-reporting. According to the researchers, their findings imply that Twitter “resembles more of a one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network.”

Police, activists and journalists all used Twitter heavily at last year’s Republican National Convention in St. Paul, with tweets monitored on cell phones sending people racing from one hot spot to another. Twitter’s usefulness as a news and organizing tool is also attested by the Chinese government’s attempts to block Twitter, especially around last week’s Tiananmen Square anniversary observances. BBC reports:

Besides the Tiananmen anniversary itself, what seemed to be most important to Chinese twitterers was the blocking of sites. Advice on how to access Twitter – by using a proxy, VPN (virtual private network) or Hotspot shield – spread around quickly. …

A student from Shanghai, who also prefers to remain anonymous, says that the blocking of websites makes it very hard to do research. “Twitter is my main source of news and information. I usually read about things that the government doesn’t care about, like technology, yet I am still facing problems,” he says.

Peru cover-up charged BBC reports that human rights lawyers are charging a cover-up in Peru, saying that hundreds of people are missing after at least 50 people were killed when police violently broke up a roadblock set up by indigenous people protesting oil drilling near the town of Bagua Grande, 870 miles north of the capital Lima. Human rights agencies are not being allowed into the area to investigate.

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