One of the hallmarks of the protests in Tunisia is how much of it is being documented on the Internet. Each day, FRANCE 24 receives hundreds of messages via email and Facebook from readers who want to share their story.
In a country where between 10-20 percent of the population has a Facebook account, the Tunisian government’s initial efforts to control the narrative in this conflict was seemingly bound to fail. The official line was soon overwhelmed by the hundreds of thousands of emails, posts, Tweets and videos distributed across the Internet. Many of Tunisia’s more sophisticated Internet users easily side-stepped the official censorship hurdles by using proxy servers to communicate with the outside world.
FRANCE 24 is among the more popular destinations for Tunisians to reach a global audience and, as such, thousands of messages are received daily by the network across its various channels on TV and the Internet.
“The global media all talk about the problems in Tunisia as related to the high cost of living or the unemployment, but these hid the real problems here. The people think they have won and that democracy is coming. But all this is just a big masquerade for the regime.”
- Sent via email by “Kynreev”
“The corruption and abuse of power are not limited to just the administration of former president Ben Ali, it’s throughout the entire ruling RCD party.”
- Post on the France 24 French language Facebook page by “Taieb”
“The Tunisian people are suffering and in dire need of food and medications. Most of the stores are either closed, burned or ransacked. For the past three days there have been lines of over 100 metres just to buy some bread. The pharmacies are closed and there’s no water, sugar, noodles, milk or diapers for babies. I am asking you to send word to authorities who can help us.”
- Sent via email by “Maryam”
“Tunisia’s problem opposition r not equipped 2 govern too. Yesterday they accepted a deal & today they resign?”
- Sent via Twitter by “Sou”
“Corruption will suck the life out of democracy, leaving the people desperate and hungry for a new system. I hope the Tunisians will embrace a new, secular democracy and not turn towards religions populism. Peace and wisdom to you all.”
-Posted by “djebu” on the France 24 Observers page