Then they came for Twitter, and there was no one left to tweet for me…

31

Luisa_ortega_fiscal-generalOn Tuesday, a rumour swept Caracas that a child had been kidnapped by a stranger in – depending on the version of the story you heard – either Petare or Chacao. Soon, the only permanently mobilized, genuinely self-organized section of Venezuelan civil society – the motorizados – launched a protest, blocking the East Side Highway and causing traffic chaos on the street to demand the police swing into action to catch the culprits.

Yesterday, Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega gave her first statement on the fracas, saying the kid’s mom had made the whole thing up, the dad knew the kid’s whereabouts at all times, and the whole thing was a protest about nothing. The mom who, for all we know, seemed genuinely terrified for her kid, now faces criminal charges. 

The alarming bit comes next, though, when Ortega says that, to prevent such things from happening in the future, “social media must be regulated.” 

What was behind Tuesday’s snatched-child panic? If we had some decent independent media out there, we might have found out. Since we don’t, people turn to Twitter. The government’s first instinct is the same as always: repress, censor, control.

This kid-snatching case has gifted them some lemons, they’re damn sure going to make themselves a nice pitcher of lemonade.

31 COMMENTS

  1. 2 words to qualify this: pure evil

    Evil is inverted values.Evil is a product of worshiping external power instead of upholding internal truth.

  2. What was behind Tuesday’s snatched-child panic? If we had some decent independent media out there, we might have found out. Since we don’t, people turn to Twitter. The government’s first instinct is the same as always: repress, censor, control.

    Exactamundo. When the official media is not trusted, the spread of rumors becomes the alternative to news circulating through official media. For example, here is a rumor about Brezhnev’s death, three years before he died.SOVIET UNION: Rumors of Death

    Absences spark stones .
    Leonid Brezhnev was not at the airport to greet Syrian President Hafez Assad when he arrived in Moscow last week for a three-day state visit. Nor did the Soviet President and Party Chief show up for a Kremlin dinner in Assad’s honor. Both absences were grave breaches of protocol. Since nothing is seriously amiss with Syrian-Soviet relations, Brezhnev’s non-appearances quickly led to speculation that he was seriously ill.

    More than that, in midweek a rumor flashed round the world: Brezhnev was dying or, indeed, was already dead. As had occurred…

    Which reminds me of the old Soviet joke, there is no news in Izvestia- which means “news” in Russian- and no truth in Pravda- which means “truth” in Russian. When there is neither news nor truth in the official media, rumors will be an alternative method for the circulation of news. The difference between now and then is that today there are faster methods of spreading rumors with social media such as Twitter. Notice that the truth did eventually come out after the Twitter bomb- which would never occur in a news story which began in Chavista dominated media.

    Speaking of motorizados, I found the part with the motorizados of the Chavista “bomb threat” video cited in I sanctioned Venezuela and all I got was this lousy T-shirt to be rather chilling.

  3. When the people do not believe and cannot trust official sources, it creates and information vacuum. That vacuum is bound to be filled with rumors. Nature abhors a vacuum.

  4. Your observation about the motorizados being the only permanently mobilized, self-organized section of Venezuelan civil society is an interesting one.

    • If you don’t understand why the Paper Trail and, in particular, its public, end-of-the-day audit renders this rant radically inapplicable to Venezuela, you don’t understand, basically, anything about this debate.

      (Actually, what Venezuela has is pretty close to what he refers to as “The World’s Most Expensive Pencil” – probably he’s right that it’s not good value for money, but that’s a very different thing than saying it allows e-fraud.)

      • Francisco, I don’t think you know more than Canuck.
        Te crees más arrecho que las cortes alemanas y holandesas (en Holanda, por cierto, han rechazado
        ya a Smartmatic, aunque el tipo de Smartmatic mencionó a los Países Bajos en la entrevista que presentaran aquí hace unos días…como un “ejemplo”).

        No se trata de que se hizo o no fraude, sino que
        1) Smartmatic no garantiza en lo más mínimo más transparencia que los métodos tradicionales y sí agrega el elemento de desconfianza (y esto ha sido más que suficiente para los alemanes y para los holandeses y es por esto que estos votan con lapiz y papel ahora)

        – entiende: para los europeos la mera posibilidad de fraude y dificultad adicional de controlar el mismo es suficiente porque esta posibilidad ya de por sí desanima o intimida a la gente

        2) hay un temor muy real entre gran parte de la población venezolana por el uso de las captahuellas, diga lo que diga quien sea sobre su conexión con el sistema de votación propiamente dicho – en esto los venezolanos no son más sofisticados que los europeos-

        3) el gobierno a través del CNE usa la “irreversibilidad” supuesta de los votos para desanimar a decenas de miles de personas que están cuidadando los centros de votación u ocupándose de recolectar las actas no en la Caracas este donde en parte creciste, sino en los sitios donde vive más de la mitad de la población de Venezuela.

    • Francisco –
      “you don’t understand, basically, anything about this debate.”
      Thanks for that.

      Why is it necessary to have electronic voting if the paper trail is the important thing.
      Why not go back to paper ballots?

      I don’t think the electronic fraud comes from the local machines.
      Locally they use other methods.

      It comes when the totals are made in Caracas behind closed doors.
      They can (& will) easily adjust the totals by % points as they did in the last election.
      Sure the oppos have a % of counts from stations where they have witnesses.
      But for many they don’t & even if they did the Supreme Court, which is the only recourse for claims of fraud, would reject the claim (as they did).

      But the total counts for elections of president are manipulated.
      That’s why they are panicking about the AN elections already saying that we can’t use the AN to oust Maduro because it’s not constitutional. (Cabello)

      These are all local results and very difficult to manipulate electronically.
      They’ll have to use the padded Election Registry for that.

    • Dude on the video is correct. And there’s a lot more, so many ways for Fraudmatic to produce the next Maduro 55% Victory. Just watch. (See previous threads)

  5. I’m sure the kidnapping will eventually be portrayed as a CIA plot of some sort. Last week they were scheming to steal the oil but this week it is babies. Makes great propaganda to feed to the mass of morons while they are standing in line for hours to buy baby formula. As the great race-baiter Al Sharpton once said, “it didn’t happen, but the important thing is that it COULD have happened.”

  6. Still on the steep part of the learning curve here.
    Are the motorizados legal? Are they associated with the communes? Government sanctioned? What are their politics? Or are they just informal motorcycle clubs?

  7. It wouldn’t surprise me if this were a scam form the very beginning, with the specific goal of making an excuse to stick their fingers into the social networks. It certainly smelled fishy when a government that doesn’t admit to a constant, pervasive crime wave jolted in indignation over a kidnapped kid, and the president made it an issue in two of his cadenas.

    • Yet the most stupid excuse they used to be douchebags was when RCTV’s concession was revoked, because they didn’t broadcast a 45-second cadena with the turd bag “dándole una pita a los escuálidos” (Or was it diablodado, I can’t remember exactly, all of them are imbeciles anyway…)

  8. ..Petare or Chacao. Soon, the only permanently mobilized, genuinely self-organized section of Venezuelan civil society – the motorizados.”

    Yep. We count on our brave motorizados and the Chapulin Colorado: they will ensure the next Fraudmatic “elections” work perfectly!

    • Well, the bikers have ensured the elections go fine… For the regime, after all, they are the ones who kick witnesses out of the voting centers and force people to vote for the red tide at gunpoint, and we ALL know the persuasive power of a gun pointed at your face.

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