Fearing for their lives and the safety of their families, journalists are adhering to a near- complete news blackout, under strict orders of drug smuggling organizations and their enforcers, who dictate via daily telephone calls, emails and news releases what can and cannot be printed or aired.
The news blackout extends to government officials. In Nuevo Laredo, the mayor mysteriously disappears for days and refuses to discuss drug violence. The military general who presides over the soldiers patrolling the city does not hold news conferences, issue statements or answer questions from the media.
Outline 1.Mexican Drug War 2.Information War 3.Tweeting the War 4.Citizen News Curators 5.Conclusions
1 Asociación Mexicana de Internet, 2011 2 Oxford Internet Institute, 2012 Internet Users 1 17% (yr. 2000) 34% (yr. 2010) 34 million users Social Media 1 61% of Internet users Twitter 2 20% of SM users 5 th largest country (cc) Lecates on Flickr
IncreasedViolence Weakened Institutions Social Media Adoption Based on photo by Eneas on Flickr
AmateurArtGuy on Flickr dwn on Flickr Eduardo Pavon on Flickr Monterrey Population: 4,000,000 Reynosa Population: 600,000 Veracruz Population: 700,000 Sachavi on Flickr Saltillo Population: 800,000
CityHashtagTweetsUsers 1. Monterrey#mtyfollow211,27827,170 2. Reynosa#reynosafolllow155,7869,043 3. Saltillo#saltillo153,87916,347 4. Veracruz#verfollow87,80112,522 How many tweets? Aug 2010 Nov 2011 609,744 tweets
FrequencyTypes of WordsSpanish 1places zona, san, sur, altura, garza, col., av. 2shootings #balacera, balacera, balazos, detonaciones 3reportreportan 4peoplegente, alguien What are people tweeting about?
CityMentionsRetweets #mtyfollow20.5%40.1% #reynosafollow24.8%15.9% #saltillo19.9%29.9% #verfollow22.5%35.3% Disseminating > Interacting What kind of tweets?
Angela Photo: mr. toaster on Flickr Claudia Photo:CarbonNYC on Flickr Followers: 30K Tweets: 60K Hours/day: many Age: ? Interviews Followers: 25K Tweets: 35K Hours/day: 15 Age: early 20s (in Spanish)
Angela Photo: mr. toaster on Flickr Claudia Photo:CarbonNYC on Flickr …by chance. I heard on the radio about how celebrities would interact with their fans. (Joined in mid 2009) How did you get started with Twitter? It was through a friend. She said: you have to go to Twitter! its so cool! (Joined in late 2009)
Angela Photo: mr. toaster on Flickr Claudia Photo:CarbonNYC on Flickr My role on Twitter is that of yet another citizen. [People] tell me that Im like theirangel, for looking after them How would you describe your role? Im a journalist … It is as if I was a war correspondent, on social networks, of the war we are living in Mexico.
Angela Photo: mr. toaster on Flickr Claudia Photo:CarbonNYC on Flickr Motivations I consider this as a community service, even though people might laugh about it. …tweeting is an altruistic community service.
Angela Photo: mr. toaster on Flickr Claudia Photo:CarbonNYC on Flickr What are your sources? Not all the information comes from Twitter. Theres a lot of people who know what I do. They have my number and they call me… they are 100% citizens. Most of the information is from los tuiteros, my followers. In other cases, its the reporters on TV, local news...