Wednesday, November 16

A Cellphone Can Be More Powerful Than a Press Badge

It is not news that twitter and other forms of social media have become an invaluable resource for reporters and revolutionaries alike, and the events at Zuccotti Park in the wee hours of November 15 sent the twitter accounts of activists and journalists into a caps-locked frenzy.
A twitter user uploaded video of mace being used against protesters to Y-Frog, a service that allows twitter users to share pictures and videos. You can watch the video here.

At around 1 am on November 15th I opened my Tumblr dashboard, a blogging platform heralded for its simplicity, and saw a post by Suzy Exposito (aka Suzy X), a former Eugene Lang student, simply stating “1:17 AM: Zuccotti park is being raided by nypd right now” with a link to the Occupy Wall Street livestream. From the comfort of my Brooklyn apartment I was able to watch as the NYPD threw personal property, the contents of the Occupy Wall Street public library, and tents into the garbage. And I was able to read in live time the tweets of protesters and journalists who where there.

It appeared that the Internet was filling in for journalists who were barred entrance into the park by the NYPD, and citizens were able to learn about banishment of reporters as it happened. Chris Glorioso, a reporter for NBC4, had his press badge taken away by an NYPD inspector and Twitter users fell into action. Newyorkist, the twitter account for, tweeted a picture of the inspector and constantly informed followers on the status of journalists attempting to cover the police raid.

One journalist, who may have been the only person with a press badge to make it inside of Zuccotti Park during the raid, had an onslaught of twitter followers as he documented the experience. Josh Harkinson wrote about his experience for Mother Jones, an online publication, "The police had created a one-block buffer zone around the park—in some areas two or three blocks—and were refusing to admit even the most credentialed members of the press. A New York Times reporter had already been arrested, a member of the National Lawyers Guild told me."

After the tents were cleared, the zip-ties secured, and the NYPD's Counter Terrorism unit was sent home twitter calmed down but reports of the sheer brutality of the raid continued. Denying access to the press was blatant censorship, but has given Twitter and "citizen journalists" new power as the watchdogs of authority.
Although twitter is still rampant with absurd rumors

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