First of all, a small sum up of the situation in Libya:
In this moment, the Arabian world is rising up. Young people wants changes. These protestations are sometimes stopped by the army and the results is the death about a hundred of people.
The most violent case is this one of Libya. Colonel Qaddafi took power in a bloodless coup 40 years ago. He has built his rule on a cult of personality and a network of family and tribal alliances supported by largess from Libya’s oil revenues.
The 15th-16th February, a pacifist demonstration against the government in power is stopped by the army. Now, everyday, there are violent demonstrations, or opposition against the army to protect cities, the response from Qaddafi is violent. The opposition groups controls some cities in the East.
Video from skynews on hte 18th February 2011, With examples of user-generated-content. The journalist explains as well the difficulties for them to work.
The control of information:
Kadhafi controls media, information, Internet and communication in Libya. The phone connections were cut on Thursday 17th February between Benghazi (second city of the country) and Al-Baïda. The journalists can work only with information from the government which are different according opposition groups and they cannot move to go to the demonstration. Image from journalist are rare. In France, some journalist wrote their articles and transmit them with SMS because they cannot phone or email them. SMS services and phone are still difficult to access.
Social network have an important role in the protestations and in the transmission of information. On the 17th February, the protestation was organized by the group Day of Rage to commemorate the death of people in a demonstration five years ago. This count has been created by Hassan al-Djahmi (Libyan exiled in Switzerland) on the 28th January.
Facebook and Twitter have been blocked during several hours on Wednesday 16th February. The group Day of Rage has more than 14,000 friends. Messages spread as well by Tweeter. The difference with Egypt and Tunisia is, Internet is not totally blocked, the night people can share information.
Journalist cannot have information, the national Agency of Press uses the user-generated-content. Libyan, in demostration, film with theur mobile phone, take photographes and share them thanks Facebook, Youtube… The problem for journalist, is this content is anonymous and complicated to check, but because they does not have choices journalist used it. They check, for example, with translators if the accent of people matches with the places indicated, the chronology of the event…
Statistics about Facebook and the Libyan users This document shows than since tsix months, the number of Libyan who has a Facebook count has increased of 110,000 members. The average of users are male between 18 and 35 years old.
Examples of facebook count and Twitter count :
Libyan Youth Movement (facebook)