Public Intelligence Emergent: Citizen Network in Krygzstan to Check and then Counter Rumors

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How To Use Technology To Counter Rumors During Crises: Anecdotes from Kyrgyzstan

Patrick Meier | March 26, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Tags: rumors, Skype, SMS, validation | Categories: Crowdsourcing, Digital Activism, New Media | URL:

I just completed a short field mission to Kyrgyzstan with UN colleagues and I’m already looking forward to the next mission. Flipping through several dozen pages of my handwritten notes just now explains why: example after example of the astute resourcefulness and creative uses of information and communication technologies in Kyrgyzstan is inspiring. I learned heaps.

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The degrees of separation needed to verify a rumor was close to one. In the case of the supposed border attack, one member of the chat group had a contact with the army unit guarding the border crossing in question. They called them on their cell phone and confirmed within minutes that no attack was taking place. As for the rumor about the poisoned humanitarian aid, another member of the chat found the original phone numbers from which these false SMS’s were being sent. They called a personal contact at one of the telecommunication companies and asked whether the owners of these phones were in fact texting from the place where the aid was reportedly poisoned; they weren’t. Meanwhile, another member of the chat group had himself investigated the rumor in person and confirmed that the text messages were false.

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Phi Beta Iota: This is the first documented example we know of in which a structured citizen network performed tasks normally associated with, but impossible for, governments.  As the Earth Intelligence Network planning document shows with its emphasis on assuring every human a cell phone for life, the separation was near one and (our own finding) the ohms resistance near zero.  This is precisely what we have been advocating since 1988 and onwards.  We have wasted 23 years and trillions of dollars for perpetuating  Epoch A unintelligent unethical governance.

See Also:

1989 General Al Gray on Global Intelligence Challenges

1992 E3i: Ethics, Ecology, Evolution, & intelligence (An Alternative Paradigm)

1992 AIJ OSS Steele’s Original Vision