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I think it is pretty common that mobile phone systems go down or work poorly during large scale protests. But also during music festivals. So I think the mayor part of phone services going down is lack of overcapacity, when you collect lots more people in an area then the mobile phone system is designed for.

That does not stop your mobile phone from working as a recorder however, and you can after leaving the affected area send the film.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 10:52:15 AM EST
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The first thing I see when they're setting up for concerts (normally sponsored by mobile phone companies) in the Phoenix Park is the installation of auxiliary phone masts.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 11:00:21 AM EST
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So we should have sponsored protests?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 11:16:28 AM EST
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That might do it!
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 11:20:27 AM EST
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We could have protests that look as if they're sponsored.

This idea is wriggling in an interesting way. I like it.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 08:58:01 PM EST
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Short of confiscating phones - which won't work well, because I think most people would rather leave a venue than hand their phone over to the police - there's nothing that can be done to prevent people in a protest making and uploading a huge number of different video recordings of the event.

This is more or less the only practical oversight available to us, and it has the potential to be very powerful. We've already seen it having an effect.

What needs to happen is that alternative/protest/citizen media need to go mainstream, with an editorial layer.

Some of that is framing, some of it is presentation, some of it is money.

The problem with YouTube and LiveLeak is that there's no context, so there's no narrative. You watch someone getting tasered, you watch an IED explosion, you watch some freak weather, you watch someone doing BMX stunts, you watch some cats being stupid, you watch someone getting tasered...

Editorial gets a bad rap from the citizen journalism movement, but it's exactly what's needed to merge hundreds of different clips into a social and political pressure point.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 11:00:27 AM EST
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I think that's (one of) the role(s) that ET is developing into.  (Did anyone say ET LLP?  Cough cough cough!)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 12:03:06 PM EST
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