Bangkokians using social media to track protest situation
Thousands of Bangkokians have been using social media as a means of sharing updates on the latest news and danger zones, as well as personal stories and opinions, since the deadly standoff between red shirt protesters and the military began here four days ago.
Perhaps most popular of all is Twitter, which users are relying on for instant updates on the situation, including public transportation information, road closures and even graphic images you won’t see on TV. One of the most popular links being shared by English-language Twitterers is blogger Richard Barrow's "Bangkok Dangerous" Google map, which highlights areas in Bangkok affected by the violence and is updated continuously with the latest on road blockages, mall closures and attack sites.
The recent escalation in violence has led many international embassies to advise against all travel to Bangkok and against non-essential travel to the rest of Thailand.
Many residents are sharing personal videos of the violence on Youtube.com and Facebook, in addition to articles, photos and opinions on the events via their profile pages and Thai-language groups calling for an end to the violence. On CNN’s iReport website, dozens have sent in their own videos and images of Bangkok's standoff, while Global Voices has put together a page titled “Bangkok clashes: Pictures, video and Twitter reports” that highlights some of the Twitpics, clips and comments making the rounds.
Here are some of the less controversial comments that we dug up Monday afternoon related to the violence on Twitter, forums, news websites and blogs.
“Why can't there be ceasefire, amnesty, an interim govt until elections? Where are neutral forces which would push for this?”
- Twitter user WillPHD
“This is getting ridiculous, how is anyone supposed to work. I am in the clothing industry, I can't get to Platinum to buy my items for sale overseas, now I can not receive money because the banks are shut.”
- Comment on Bangkok Post article “Bangkok Burning.”
“I'm trading in my crystal ball. I honestly thought this whole thing would blow over a month or so ago when the Red Shirts failed to materialize in Bangkok in huge numbers.”
- Thai Visa user ArtVandelay
“CRES: go home and we will stop shooting - Reds: stop shooting and we will go home. And on and on it goes....”
- Twitter user Farangone
For more on the use of Twitter during the protests, check out this recent blog post by CNNGo contributor Greg Jorgensen.