The map reveals some interesting statistics on social networking uptake in developing countries. For instance, while Facebook and MySpace are popular in the US and the UK, Orkut leads in the Indian subcontinent, as well as Brazil. Hi5.com is the most international of all the social networks, leading in Peru, Colombia, Central America, and other, scattered countries such as Mongolia, Romania, and Tunisia; Friendster is still going strong in Southeast Asia.
This map came in handy for Robin Hamman, a journalist and researcher at the BBC, when he was trying to find information from Burma, a country with low levels of internet use compared the west (less than 1% of the population is thought to be online at home), and high levels of government filtering and blocking.
The internet can be such a powerful tool for citizens in these situations to document first hand and tell their stories to the world, and this is why government filtering of such content is particularly disheartening. These people are putting themselves at risk by uploading mobile images and blogging from internet cafes. It's hard to believe we still live in a world where the medium can be controlled, but it's also encouraging to see ordinary citizens use technology to broadcast their stories.
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