Unlike with Egypt and Tunisia, the amount of veteran tweeps and tech-savvy geeks online with a knowledge of English or French was considerably lower in Libya. As with many beginners, there became a certain lack of discipline in restraint towards rumours and less infrastructure, with a widespread armada of tweeps not signing up until the uprising. There are of course many logical explanations for this, not least the Ghaddafi regime’s hard stance on the internet, opposition and education system.
It was also interesting to see the first films come out on Facebook on the night of the 15th of February and quickly being mirrored and retweeted. (Apparently Youtube has been blocked in Libya). Specially considering the limited resources and short notice, it became really interesting to see how quickly alternative news services and media were set up on Facebook, Twitter and on the air, as alternatives to state-run media. And to see how long it took before al-Jazeera got up to speed , compared to Tunisia, Egypt and even Bahrain, maybe hinting at how social media is used at the al-Jazeera news desk.
One of those citizen journalists that made it their task to tell what was happening, was Muhammad Nabbous. With a web cam he set up Sawt el Libya Horra, translating to the Voice of Free Libya. Before the regime lost control of Eastern Libya only citizen journalists were able to document and report on the heavy weaponry being used on civilians.
Last Saturday Muhammad Nabbous was killed in Benghazi, covering a story, and mourned extensively on Twitter by established journalists and amatures alike. The announcement was made by his pregnant wife, a recording that for example can be found here, on the Arabist blog.
A plea has been made by @acarvin to include Muhammad Nabbous’ name in the Newsneum. This text covers clips and reactions by tweeps such as @blakehounshell, @bencnn and @iyadhelbaghdadi that knew or interviewed Mo. This article in Swedish, by @CFklebergTT, tells the same.
Here are a few webcasts, there were many more…