Written By /Ike pius
Money is the Root of all Evil. This article examines how the Love of Money is killing off our last hope of Free Speech, Free Expression, and Free Association- The Internet.
Human Beings have an inherent need to communicate. This encompasses the need to share thoughts, ideas, thrills, moments of joy and pain, and the desire to educate, as well as inform others about events happenings around us.
Information, when shared rapidly and massively has often caused people to take action, to join political movements, to press for change, to resist, to take up arms, to topple oppressive governments, even to commit genocide.And whose job is it to spread information?
Newspapers, including flyers, posters, and pamphlets and whatever other forms may exist today , Radio Stations, Television , Cinema Houses are some forms that the Media can take.
No doubt the media is a powerful and fearsome force. Governments have continued to fear it from the beginning of time up till today . This fear has made governments put a leash on the media in the past, and a muzzle on it in the present. In many countries government owned media houses spew state controlled propaganda to keep their people obedient or at least more compliant.
By strict censorship, Governments filter news and current events programs thereby telling the People what they want the People to know: Election results, Public Affairs, Health Concerns, Security Threats, Government Policies and Economic Strategies. State controlled media also hide what they deem to be dangerous. But dangerous to who?
Everybody loses when Governments censor information. When information is censored by a stifled media it becomes too easy to get away with Murder of political opponents, Manipulation of Electoral Processes, Racism or Ethnic Bigotry, Corruption of Public officials, and even outright Murder by Uniform wearing men of Law Enforcement. It is for this reason that an alternative is greatly needed.
New Media-free-Social Media
New Media consists of Social Media Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and most effectively Twitter. The thousands of Blogs offering timely information, candid opinion, and an open platform for creative independents must also not be overlooked. New Media offer the people a breath of fresh air. They can provide access to unfiltered News Events, draw attention to social issues, and spring people into action through Crowd Funding, and other forms of social mass action. Let us take a few examples of how New Media is effecting change.
The Shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, by White police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014 was not reported by the CNN until August 13, 2014. Five days into the outcry that ensued. The #hashtags #handsupdontshoot and #ferguson started on twitter, and then permeated to other Social Media platforms like Facebook and Youtube. As a matter of Fact, the hashtag #ferguson has been used over (1) Twenty Seven Million, Two Hundred Thousand (27,200,000) times, and a related Hashtag #BlackLivesMatter has been used over Twelve Million (12,000,000) times, and has become an offline Political Movement, affecting the Electoral Process, as well as Political Discourse. These figures have been described as a Twitterstorm. That Twitterstorm resulted in a media frenzy, as mainstream media, who might not have been interested in the story at first tried to out-do each other in gallantry when reporting the incident. But it was too late. This story belonged to the internet. One Video (New Video from Micheal Brown Shooting death) Highlighting the #Ferguson incidence had been viewed 3,445,736 times and another (Michael Brown Autopsy: Experts Weigh In) has been viewed over 135,384 times, both on Youtube. There are numerous Videos like these offering different perspectives and insights into this incidence and others similar to it.
Media Launch Pad
Another Positive side to the New Media is that they give an opportunity to Creative Talents, even in some of most remote corners of the Earth. An Example is the Author from a small village in Nigeria whose e book has gone viral. ( Please search Bomber Boy: Rise of the Underwear Bomber ) One of the Talents that the Old Media would not have given a second look, maybe because they do not have the big budgets, or high level connections that are necessary to break into the World of Big Media.
All they have to do is post their content on Social Media and ask others to share. If the content is compelling enough and they have some luck on their side, they could go viral, and then have their content propel them to stardom. Having become internet sensations, the Traditional Media Establishment would then be forced to pay attention. Many have taken advantage of this, including Athletes, Singers, Bloggers, and Writers. But the internet has not just been about singing and dancing; it has helped reduce real suffering. How?
Crowdfunding : Good causes have not been left out of the New System of things; many grassroots charity organizations have been able to attract attention to their work, such that they are able to raise funding in order to continue their good work. Victims of Social Injustice have had activists as well as concerned individuals share their story and then raise funds to alleviate their sufferings, or take up legal action in order to seek redress.
But Then They Came
They- the Old Guard invaded Social Media like an Army and quickly tore down the wall of resistance not by force of arms, but by opening their wallets. Money answereth all things! One by one the Major Social Networking platforms capitulated to the power of the Dollar and the desire to post impressive figures as year end profits.
Facebook started putting up Sponsored Posts (2) without an option not to see these advertisements. They usually come in form of well crafted headlines with only a few words of the stories available on Facebook. Those few words would usually be enough to catch the reader's attention so as to make him click on the link taking him to the full article maybe on CNN- the same CNN some of us have been trying to get away from.
Another way facebook has caved in to the will of the Old Media is allowing them create pages and advertising that users 'like' said pages. They would them use a similar tactic as mentioned above in order to get your attention. Some found this action distasteful and so moved to a rival Social Media platform: Twitter.
But Twitter fell as well.
By its very design Twitter is a powerful information sharing tool. No wonder most of the World's Social Media Activism is done there. One only has to go back a few paragraphs to see how much impact Twiiter Hashtags have had on the World and how we relate to each other. All that may soon be over.
Twitter made changes such that when you log in to your account you no longer see posts from your friends and colleagues -with who you have formed a relationship which involves re-sharing (retweeting) each other's content, thereby increasing the chances of going viral- but instead you see posts from Top Influencers, Such as the BBC.
Furthermore, searching for any particular topic or Hashtag no longer brings up the latest posts which is content from fellow users, instead it brings up 'Top content' which are usually headlines posted by Media companies, sometimes up to a month before, and out-of-date.
Twitter does not stop there; many users including this writer regularly receive text messages from Twitter which is mostly News posted by the same Media people that we no longer trust. The text messages usually go like this: ''@MSNBC tweeted this... or @FoxNews tweeted that.''
The real Twitter users who actually make up the social aspect of Social Media have been relegated to the background, if not entirely forgotten.
R.I.P Dear Internet
Google adwords mean that the man with the fattest wallet, not best content goes to the top of search results, thereby getting all the attention and traffic. Attention and traffic equals huge profits for a successful advertising campaign which means that the rich get richer and the poor get pinned to the bottom of google.
You Tube puts the most popular videos on the top of its lists. These videos are made popular by views and likes they garner. Any search will show that apart from celebrities (who are backed by entertainment companies with huge money bags) many popular accounts on YouTube are owned by Corporate Media.
As a matter of fact, of the ten most subscribed channels on YouTube at least 6 are either partly or fully owned, or at least affiliated to, and possibly funded by Corporate Media and Entertainment interests.
This list (4) includes T-Series and Set India, (Indian Entertainment Companies) World Wrestling Entertainment W.W.E , and popular musicians Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber and Eminem.
As a hub of free expression, the internet is slowly dieing away. Everybody and everything is monetizing at a rate and in a manner that puts user experience second to profits. If this trend continues unabated then we would be handing a disaster to our children.
Just a Question before you go: What takes up your internet time, and what changes have you noticed in your favorite Social Networks?
About the Author :
Ike Pius is the Author of Bomber Boy: Rise of the Underwear Bomber. @ikepius is the handle by which he may be reached on twitter. For more stories by the Author go here https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18517103-bomber-boy
1. These 10 Twitter Hashtags Changed the Way we Talk about Social Issues, by Tanya Sichynsky, The Washington Post, March 21, 2016.
2. Facebook Starts Displaying Ads inthe News Feed. ZDNet, January 10, 2012. by Protansky, Emil.
Sponsored Stories begin to appear in News Feed. Inside Facebook, January 10, 2012, by Darwell, Brittany.
3. Twitter will now put Recommended (Not Newest) Tweets At the Top of Your Timeline, by Lynley, Matthew, on TechCrunch, February 10, 2016.
4. YouTube: most subscribed Channels 2019 (c) Statista. pulled March 27, 2019.
Written by: Michael Blair
Suddenly, everything becomes clear!
Reported by;Abeer Almadawy
As we care to take our trip among the castles of the world. Today it's our pleasure to meet with one with the most beautiful human creation in the world. It is the planet of Japan....our mission today will to discover everything about the Osaka Castle which is a Japanese castle in Chūō-ku, Osaka, Japan.
The castle is one of Japan's most famous landmarks and it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
The main tower of Osaka Castle is situated on a plot of land roughly one square kilometer. It is built on two raised platforms of landfill supported by sheer walls of cut rock, using a technique called Burdock piling, each overlooking a moat. The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and built atop a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants from attackers.
The castle grounds, which cover approximately 61,000 square meters (15 acres),contain thirteen structures that have been designated as important cultural assets by the Japanese government, including:
Enshogura Gunpowder Magazine
Three sections of castle wall all located around Otemon Gate
In 1583 Toyotomi Hideyoshi commenced construction on the site of the Ikkō-ikki temple of Ishiyama Hongan-ji.The basic plan was modeled after Azuchi Castle, the headquarters of Oda Nobunaga. Hideyoshi wanted to build a castle that mirrored Nobunaga's, but surpassed it in every way: the plan featured a five-story main tower, with three extra stories underground, and gold leaf on the sides of the tower to impress visitors. In 1585 the Inner donjon was completed. Hideyoshi continued to extend and expand the castle, making it more and more formidable to attackers. In 1597 construction was completed and Hideyoshi died the year after. Osaka Castle passed to his son, Toyotomi Hideyori.
In 1600 Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated his opponents at the Battle of Sekigahara, and started his own bakufu (i.e., shogunate) in Edo. In 1614 Tokugawa attacked Hideyoshi in the winter, starting the Siege of Osaka. Although the Toyotomi forces were outnumbered approximately two to one, they managed to fight off Tokugawa's 200,000-man army and protect the castle's outer walls. Ieyasu had the castle's outer moat filled, negating one of the castle's main outer defenses.
During the summer of 1615, Hideyori began to restore the outer moat. Ieyasu, in outrage, sent his armies to Osaka Castle again, and routed the Toyotomi men inside the outer walls on June 4.
Osaka Castle fell to the Tokugawa clan, the Toyotomi clan perished, and the castle buildings burned to the ground.:153
In 1620, the new heir to the shogunate, Tokugawa Hidetada, began to reconstruct and re-arm Osaka Castle. He built a new elevated main tower, five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and assigned the task of constructing new walls to individual samurai clans. The walls built in the 1620s still stand today, and are made out of interlocked granite boulders without mortar. Many of the stones were brought from rock quarries near the Seto Inland Sea, and bear inscribed crests of the various families who contributed them.
Construction of the 5 story tenshu started in 1628 and was completed 2 years later, about the same time the rest of the reconstruction, and followed the general layout of the original Toyotomi structure.153-157
In 1660, lightning ignited the gunpowder warehouse and the resulting explosion set the castle on fire.
In 1665, lightning struck and burnt down the tenshu.157 In 1843, after decades of neglect, the castle got much-needed repairs when the bakufu collected money from the people of the region to rebuild several of the turrets.
In 1868, Osaka Castle fell and was surrendered to anti-bakufu imperial loyalists. Much of the castle was burned in the civil conflicts surrounding the Meiji Restoration.:157
Under the Meiji government, Osaka Castle became part of the Osaka Army Arsenal (Osaka Hohei Kosho) manufacturing guns, ammunition, and explosives for Japan's rapidly expanding Western-style military.
In 1931, the ferroconcrete tenshu was built.157
During World War II, the arsenal became one of the largest military armories, employing 60,000 workers. Bombing raids targeting the arsenal damaged the reconstructed main castle tower and, on August 14, 1945, destroyed 90% of the arsenal and killed 382 people working there.
In 1995, Osaka's government approved yet another restoration project, with the intent of restoring the main tower to its Edo-era splendor. In 1997, restoration was completed. The castle is a concrete reproduction (including elevators) of the original and the interior is intended as a modern, functioning museum.
The castle is open to the public and is easily accessible from Osakajōkōen Station on the JR West Osaka Loop Line. It is a popular spot during festival seasons, and especially during the cherry blossom bloom (hanami), when the sprawling castle grounds are covered with food vendors and taiko drummers. The large indoor arena, Osaka-jō Hall, also is located within the grounds of the castle park.
Source: Wikipedia-castle civilization and Heritage magazine
Egypt succeeds in its new step for submitting The constitutional amendment, which began last Saturday for three days, and ended on Monday
The scene in most of the electoral committees in all the cities and villages of the governorates of the country ,witnessed a large sharing by voters, mostly of they support the constitutional amendment.
Castle Journal had a stop on the last day where the founder and CEO Abeer Almadawy of Castle Journal ,the British Group for Journalism and Media Group went to vote and witnesses the proceedings of the voting as a watcher and foreign media reporter.
She said on her official page that the cultural scene that she saw witnessed a great transformation in the culture of Egyptian society, who became involved in the political process and determine its fate , considering themselves the owners of the decisions,they are very different rather than before in the days of president Mubarak who were opposed to participate in any elections at his era.
Almadawy stressed as a watcher to the election that the conduct of the electoral process and voting, which is running smoothly without fatigue for voters and good treatment were a major reason for the success of the referendum.
On the other hand, the National Electoral Commission announced that the voting abroad has ended and gone to Egypt for its part and by the end of the vote on Monday the committee will take other five days to announce the final result.
The chairman of the committee said that any complaints would receive great attention and that the committee is not responsible for any results announced informally.
It is noteworthy that Egypt has the third entitlement ,it was the Constitution in 2014 and was among the articles of the term of the presidency , it granted to the President four years only in every period, while the Constitution gave the House of Representatives five years for every period!
During this time the politics and and men of law had confused and the Constitution is at a loss ,Why ?
Because Egypt doesn't know to whom it belongs; It will be a parliamentary or presidential state?
So that the new constitutional amendment will repair this issue and Accordingly, the new article concerning the term of the president has been amended to be 6 years instead of 4. The president has the right to stand for only two times. The constitution gives the president the right to implement the term of the new presidency, which is 6 years. And can be candidates for Only one other time forward.
So by being the period of the president 6 years ,it will overcome the mass of the political issues with the House of Representatives who still 5 years. What means that the ruling in Egypt will be parliamentary and presidentially.
The Constitution also added to the functions of the armed forces ,the protection of Civil country Constitutional , and was amended the role of the President in the inauguration of the Council of State and the addition of a new item allowing the post of Vice-Chairmen
The woman in the constitution amendment has a great interest , as she will represent in the parliament with 25% of the total seats.
Also the constitution approved for establishing the council of eldest.
it worthy to mention that the Egyptian information service assembly affirmed that there's no complaints were witnessed during the last three days and process of the election succeeded without a single broken.
As Egypt heads the African countries Union this year, President Abdel Fattah AlSisi met with the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Mrs. Soyata Maiga.
The President confirmed the importance that Egypt attaches to the success of the 64th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights that will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh from 24 April to 14 May 2019, in light of its chairmanship of the African Union. He added that Egypt has been keen since the establishment of the Commission, which is responsible for monitoring the human rights in African countries, to cooperate and strengthen its role. Egypt has also participated in drafting the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.
Mrs. Maiga thanked the President for Egypt's hosting of 64th session of the Commission and confirmed Egypt's key role at the level of joint African action to improve the situation of human rights in the continent. The President highlighted that this would be an opportunity for the commissioners to know more about the real situation in Egypt and stressed that improving human rights is one of Egypt's priorities based on Egypt's Vision 2030.
President AlSisi reviewed the major developments and efforts by the state to improve the economic, social, living conditions and services, especially the eradication of slums and providing decent housing to nearly one million citizens, also the anti-Hepatitis C campaign and ending waiting lists for patients. This is in addition to efforts to improve education and social safety nets, empower the women and youth and caring for people with special needs.
The President also highlighted efforts to reinforce citizenship, religious tolerance and the acceptance of the other. This is in addition to the services that the state offers to the expatriates who fled to Egypt because of their countries' political and security circumstances.The President explained that all of these efforts come within the general framework of human rights, in accordance with the relevant United Nations charters.
The President confirmed that concurrently Egypt is fighting terrorism, which requires double the effort to fulfill the aspirations of the Egyptian people, in parallel with economic reform measures that seek to improve the quality of living of the Egyptian people.
The meeting also touched on the role of the Egyptian government in supporting the freedom of the work of Civil Society Organizations, which are estimated to be more than 50,000, as a requirement to encourage political participation and entrench democratic practices. The President affirmed that Egypt is open to cooperate with the Commission to improve the conditions of human rights in the continent and to maintain its independence as one of the main arms of the AU, especially in light of Egypt's chairmanship of the AU.
The Egyptian spokesman of the presidency,ambassador Basam Raday declared that
President Abdul Fattah AlSisi received Monday the Cypriot House of Representatives chief,Mr. Demetris Syllouris, and his accompanying delegation.
The President confirmed the deep historic relations that the two countries and peoples share and Egypt’s keenness to enhance them in various fields. He asked for his greetings to be conveyed to the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, and expressed that he values the continued coordination and consultation with the Cypriot president to discuss further cooperation between the two countries as well as trilateral cooperation with Greece, noting that the trilateral mechanism sets an example for cooperation in the East Mediterranean region.
Mr. Syllouris conveyed the appreciation of President Anastasiades to President Al Sisi. He lauded the outstanding bilateral relationsand their recent development, affirming the interest of Cyprus in bolstering them.
The meeting reviewed aspects of cooperation between Egypt and Cyprus. President AlSisi welcomed the ongoing cooperation and communication with Cyprus at different levels, which is demonstrated by the increase in exchanged visits as well as at the level of parliament, whereby the speaker of the Egyptian parliament visited Cyprus at the invitation of his Cypriot counterpart in 2018. The President looked forward to further cooperation within the framework of trilateral cooperation mechanism and building on the outcome of the six trilateral summits that have been held to date, especially in the areas of tourism, investment, energy and electricity connection.
President AlSisi and Mr. Syllouris also discussed the outcome of the first trilateral meeting that included the speakers of the Egyptian, Greek and Cypriot parliaments held in Cyprus in February 2019 with the aim of enhancing relations at the level of the parliament and people. This shall compliment cooperation efforts in different dimensions, such historic, cultural, political and economiccooperation so as to reinforce the partnership that the three countries share.
The President welcomed the initiative by the speaker of the Cypriot parliament to teach Arabic in Cyprus and noted Egypt’s keennessto assist this initiative, which shall strengthen bonds between Cyprus and the Arab countries.
Editing: Abeer Almadawy
As Egypt cares and watches the events in Sudan and works to enhance the stability and end the conflict there, President Abdul Fattah AlSisi met with the head of Sudan's National Security and Intelligence Service, Abu Bakr Demblab.
The spokesman of the Egyptian presidency Ambassador Basam Rady said that;
The head of Sudan's National Security and Intelligence Service delivered a letter to President Alsisi from the head of Sudan's Transitional Military Council, Lieutenant General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan. The letter included updates on the latest developments in Sudan and looked forward to Egypt's continued role to support stability in Sudan to overcome this phase.
This is given the close bonds between the two countries and Egypt's pivotal role in the continent, leading joint African action as the AU chair.
President El Sisi conveyed his greeting to the head of Sudan's Transitional Military Council and expressed his appreciation for the Council's efforts to address the current situation in the country.
The President confirmed Egypt's full and unconditional readiness to provide all support to Sudan in order to realise the milestones in the interest of the Sudanese people, and in a way that guarantees supporting their will and choices in drawing the future of their country and preserving state institutions.