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  • Writer's picturePetra Zlatevska

Syrian Bread Propaganda and Prank Pizza Calls – 10 things I learned at my first ever geek conference


I recently embraced my inner streber or geek by heading to re:publica, one of, if not the, leading European conference on society, social media and the internet. It was fascinating to meet with and hear from a range of presenters speaking on topics as diverse as the hacking organisation,Anonymous, and hear a panel discussion on the influence of social media on the Arab Spring revolutions. There is way too much to discuss on one blog post and a conference review can be quite boring for those who were not present. I just wanted to share ten quick random insights,emerging trends interesting lessons.

  1. Anonymous started targetting the Church of Scientology by ordering pizzas and organising prank calls, after they had hacked an internal Scientology video of Tom Cruise defendingthe Church’s values

  2. LULZ stands for “laugh out loud”

  3. Mozilla is developing its own Apps

  4. During the Syrian civil rights protests, the government arranged for “bread propaganda” that is short printed messages urging support for the regime, which were baked into bread and which the local population bought at local bakeries

  5. Openleaks founder Daniel Domscheit-Berg, former pal of Julian Assange spoke about how his new organisaiton will “not be about building an exclusive community but an open network”

  6. Openleaks has received 600€ in donations through social micorpayments site, flattr

  7. Flattr enables people to donate money to the things, causes or individuals whose content you like

  8. There is no Department of the Internet in the German federal government

  9. Aggregation and anonymity in crowdsourced human rights video footage will come to play a greater role according to human rights organisation Witness

  10. Ushahidi, the african-based open source data collection platform is launching check ins, a bit like Facebook check in or Four Square, but “with a purpose”

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