Social Media and the Conflict in Ukraine

As most of you know, Russia’s potential military intervention in Ukraine has the global community on edge. It’s impossible to turn on any newscast or visit any major news website and not be inundated with updates about Ukraine and Russia. As with any other major event these days, there is a lot of buzz on social media, from both the world community as well as from inside Ukraine.

Ukraine

The Russian parliament has approved President Putin’s request to commit resources to an impending military action, but it appears that there is concern about popular support. The Roskomnadzor, a federal media oversight agency, has been ordered by the Prosecutor’s General Office to block the pages of over a dozen pro-Ukraine social media webpages. This reduces the possibility of Russian citizens getting information that may be in conflict with what their government wants them to believe. It is clear that the Russian government understands the power that social media has on popular opinion.

Do you think that this tactic will work? Will it prevent the general Russian population from knowing that the Ukrainian people are (generally) unhappy about the prospect of military interventions by their northern neighbors?

Russia Blocks Pro-Ukraine Groups on Social Media

9 thoughts on “Social Media and the Conflict in Ukraine

  1. I think this will upset people more and will influence people to strike against the government even more than they’re right now. Social media keeps people updated on their news and when they don’t allow people to use it, they’re taking away their right to know what’s going on in their own country. They will still see it on the news they just won’t be seeing people’s opinions on it and won’t be able to share theirs. I think that people will still find a way around it.

  2. There will definitely be ways around this, but it will still greatly hinder the spread of this information. There are other countries with similar policies about different media and while they do not completely cut people off from those topics, they still have a large impact. It’s going to take a lot longer for this information to spread by word of mouth.

  3. This incident is already taking the headline with the “craziness” going on in Ukraine. Social does inform the public but in most situations like this, its not in a good way. Different countries do have different policies on social media but in he end social media affect on the public will always be the same. Social media is owning this situation going on in Ukraine it’s only a matter of time until the situation is resolved.

  4. The problem with situations like this is that both sides of the media are going to lie to make their side seem better. Yes while the rapid transmission of data is useful with apps like twitter and facebook, it can also lead to false information being spread. A great article on this can be found here http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/heartbreaking-syria-orphan-photo-wasnt-taken-in-syria-and-not-of-orphan-9067956.html

    It shows how easy it is for one side to manipulate data to get people to feel different ways.

  5. Any idea if the pro-Ukraine social media pages are authored by Ukrainians? If those pages, or another information update page was being organized by an unbiased/neutral country I wonder how Russia would deal with their published content. I understand it’s tough to be neutral under the circumstances, but if pro-Ukraine pages are starting to get cited, it might be best for the citizens to head towards foreign reporting sites for the most reliable information.

  6. Information spreads so quickly across social media and the internet in general. Even if they block the information on news sites and social media pages, the information will still be out there and accessible to the public. Once someone posts something, even if its taken down later there will still be copies of it out there for people to view.

  7. The Russians took control of all media stations in the Crimea. I believe now, they are only able to receive Russian cable, which of course is pro Russia. Many countries including Russia, contracts a 3rd party to do the all the dirty work online like crashing certain websites. This allows Russia to say they didn’t do it.

    As far as how successful it will be, i think not. Egypt tried to do it, and it only added coals to the fire.

  8. http://thoughtcatalog.com/danielle-ryan/2014/02/i-am-a-ukrainian-this-needs-to-go-viral/#yTBAtX3belz7w27D.01

    Here is a link to an article about a video that a young Ukrainian girl made to try to reach out to the world before the social media accesses were blocked. She made the video with the intentions for it to go viral and show the conditions of her country and how they need help. It was a powerful statement that showed how social media really can connect us all and be one of our most important sources of communication. Although the internet might be blocked in the Ukraine the rest of the world can still circulate her cry for help and keep her message alive.

  9. Interesting article. But I think that blocking sites will only make people involved more angry and cause them to resort to other methods to get their voice heard and their points across. Now with social media, everyone is used to information spreading quickly and by blocking it will only make them think of new methods of spreading their opinions and thoughts to others to have them join in as well.

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