Russians use Facebook to protest alleged election fraud

Russians use Facebook to protest alleged election fraud

Summary: Russians this week have turned to Facebook in their fight against alleged election fraud. They are also using the social network to prepare for a massive protest on Saturday across the country.

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Several thousand Russians embraced Facebook and other social media this week to protest against Sunday's legislative elections won by Vladimir Putin's ruling party. More demonstrations against the alleged election fraud, which handed a narrow victory to the Russian prime minister's party, are to come.

More than 32,000 users have said they are going to the Facebook event calling for a massive demonstration Saturday at Moscow's Revolution Square, even though the government is only allowing 30,000. A map circulating on the Internet shows protests planned this weekend in more than 75 cities in the country, according to CBS News.

The protests are receiving next to no coverage on mainstream television. One of the few Russian channels to closely follow the events, Dozhd (meaning rain in Russian), is privately owned and broadcasts primarily online. Still, it referred to the public outcry as "The Facebook revolution."

"Nothing like this has ever happened before," journalist Sergei Parkhomenko told Dozhd. "This all started with a few posts on Facebook and (blogging platform) LiveJournal."

With TV failing to help, the country is turning to the Internet, like so many before it. Various Russian websites have been reporting on the opposition, the alleged election fraud, and the ensuing events. Unfortunately, many have allegedly been the victims of massive hacking attacks. This has only fueled further protests.

The demonstrations are reportedly the largest Moscow has seen in years: they have included many who admitted to have never before joined such calls for opposition. Over 1,000 individuals have already been arrested. Among them are key bloggers and organizers, but this doesn't appear to be helping matters: hundreds are taking their place and declaring they will take to the streets.

We will soon see how the Facebook-led event goes on Saturday. I can only hope that it will be peaceful.

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Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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2 comments
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  • We feel your pain

    Conservatives can march and protest 100,000 at a time here and they get no media attention at all but throw a few vagrants and liberals into a New York park with drums and signs and you get 24/7 media attention.
    zmud
    • RE: Russians use Facebook to protest alleged election fraud

      @zmud first of all, the problems OWS underlines are big. Second of all, just because OWS is getting some media attention this doesn't mean they'll accomplish anything(they won't). I've read newspapers in many languages the last few months, all calling OWS "anti-capitalist movements", when their complaints aren't about that at all... so you see, even though they get attention it's not a honest one. Another thing, there's been big demonstrations in Japan and France similar to OWS.. have you heard about them? Neither have the people in their own countries...
      cameigons