Syrian Government Posting Pro-Government Messages On Pages Of Dissidents After Getting Their Passwords

from the i'm-sure-that'll-convince-people... dept

After social networking played a role in the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, we found it interesting that Syria lifted a ban on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that had been in place for many years. The government claimed that it wanted to show that it encouraged openness and expression, though some found that hard to believe. Indeed, as things have gotten worse in that country, there were reports a few weeks ago of a massive attempt by the government to swipe passwords on Facebook. Further reports are now claiming that either with swiped passwords or by forcing arrested dissidents to cough up their own passwords, the Syrian government has started posting fake pro-government messages on the pages of those dissidents.

I'm curious as to why the government is doing this. Do they really think that anyone is convinced by this or that it's effective? If you have been friends with or following a well-known dissident, who suddenly disappears, and then his page starts posting pro-government messages, it seems like most people would quickly realize that something was wrong. Meanwhile, the various dissidents and activists have found that the best way to avoid this is to just create fake personas on Facebook, despite that going against the company's policies. One hopes that Facebook is willing to let things slide under the circumstances...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Michael (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:04pm

    Creepy

    Thursday: Gee, thank god for National Security :D
    Wednesday: I hate the police!
    Tuesday: Taxes suck :(

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Wendy Wyatt, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:44pm

    Assad's Corruption is Extreme!

    United Nations must send Assad to International Criminal Court for Murder, Torture and Rape of Civilians, Including Women and Children!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 4:05am

    Re: Assad's Corruption is Extreme!

    And yet, we don't do the same to Bush, Dick and Colon, who were essentially paid to make war.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    abc gum, May 25th, 2011 @ 4:49am

    It is similar to watching a train wreck in slow motion and seems to be a sad prelude to what's in the future across the globe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Greg G (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 5:55am

    Re: Re: Assad's Corruption is Extreme!

    Love love love it when you people want to blame Bush and company. Never mind that it takes Congress to approve it, and which party was in control of Congress back when this first started? That's right, it was the Democrats, by 1 seat thanks to a wishy-washy Jim Jeffords (R-VT) that went "independent" (which really means I lick my finger, hold it in the air and see which way the winds are blowing before I make up my mind. In other words, I have no opinion of my own) and then switched parties.

    So, if you want to blame anyone for going to war (it should be the terrorists that actually attacked us) then you need only look at the left side of the aisle in the Senate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    sumquy (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 5:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Assad's Corruption is Extreme!

    damn right!! we showed those iraqi terrorist what for, didn't we? wait...what?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Qûr Tharkasdóttir, May 25th, 2011 @ 6:06am

    Live propaganda

    Sorry to say, but there's just so much disinformation and so much lying about Syria, not to mention Libya, that it's impossible to believe anything that doesn't come from a truly respectable source (which the NYT isn't, obviously) – like this one, for starters:

    Syrian opposition funded by Bush as well as Obama

    There's an even better article dated April 27th on that same site, by Domenico Losurdo, but so far it's published only in French, Portuguese and Italian.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Greg G (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 6:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Assad's Corruption is Extreme!

    And I suppose you would just have let them be? Yea, we all saw how that worked after the first WTC bombings, and all the other bombings before.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 7:28am

    While I doubt anyone will start believing that Bob their anti-governement friend has suddenly become pro-government, I could definitely see this as being a stark reminder of what happened and being highly demoralizing to protesters. A sort of digital version of putting your enemy's head on a spike in a highly public place. The flip side is that it might serve to really piss people off and intensify anti-government sentiment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 7:31am

    Re: Assad's Corruption is Extreme!

    Somehow I doubt Syria has accepted ICC jurisdiction and even if it did, there is no UN police. All the UN can do is send angry letters, stomp its feet and ask its member countries to please do something about it. To expect action on any matter to come from the UN is a recipe for disappointment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re: Assad's Corruption is Extreme!

    Actually, going to war is not illegal, not matter the reasons, and the laws of war are only ever implemented by the winner. The reason for that are very simple: The winner is the only one with the guns to enforce any rules. Seriously people, you all need to realize that this concept of countries being held responsible for their actions by a neutral third party is completely absurd. The power of national courts is derived from the fact that they can send a bunch of uniformed goons to beat you up if you don't comply. International courts have LOTs fewer uniformed goons than even the most demilitarized country in the world.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2011 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Assad's Corruption is Extreme!

    Yeah, all it took was over 1 trillion in military spending, and over 1 million dead civilians.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Mark, Sep 29th, 2011 @ 7:33am

    Why is Russia blocking sanctions against Basher al-Assad? Money, pure and simple, investments; Russia, China, and Iran have invested heavily in Assad and they have a vested interest in the West not getting on the ground and seeing what has been, and continues to be, done.

    http://msmignoresit.blogspot.com/2011/09/syria-iran-and-russia.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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