The world watches as the city is retaken from ISIS
Since 2014 and the rise of the terrorist organization ISIS in the Middle East, the Iraqi army has slowly been making advances and reclaiming land. Recently they announced their intent to recapture the city of Mosul, one of Iraq’s largest and ISIS’s largest stronghold in the region.
The attack was coordinated with a televised message from the Iraqi government. The armed forces are currently a coalition of Sunnis, Shias, Kurds, and other parties. This fight, which could take weeks or months of guerilla warfare and probably take the lives of many casualties, would signify the final decay if successful. ISIS has been known to use civilians as human shields, indicating this will be a bloody conflict.
Live streaming the revolution
You probably may think are wondering how this related to Android TV and online media. ISIS massively grew its popularity through online propaganda and videos. Today ISIS is seen as a threat by many countries. A single attack anywhere can create fear everywhere thanks to the quick proliferation of propaganda. As it’s everyone’s problem, we all have a vested interest in seeing the organization defeated and its power diminished.
The Battle of Mosul may be televised on Iraq television, but everyone at home can watch as well. There are several places where one can watch the city live. Everyone can watch as the city is slowly cleared of ISIS fighters and there is a return to relative normalcy for the city.
The stream of the city above is posted by Rudaw Media, a Kurdish news organization. At the time of writing it is being seen by about 3,000 individuals concurrently. There are also short videos on Twitter showing the full extent of the military onslaught which is currently underway.
— Nicholas A. Glavin (@nickglavin) October 17, 2016
These videos play into the counter-propaganda in favor of the Iraq coalition government; they want to say that they’re legitimate and they’re going to restabilize the country. Hopefully we can see peace in the country sooner rather than later, at minimal loss of life. Many civilians have been fleeing, but can fall victim to landmines and other traps hidden in the roads.
We’ve seen these things happen before. The Arab Spring consisted of many uprisings which were streamed through video to the Internet or simply tweets and posts on social media. These new tools make it easier to gain a following within your nation, but also around the world.
Today, any citizen can be a journalist simply by opening Periscope or YouTube on their phone and tapping the “stream” button. You have a potential audience of millions, and your content can be mixed and used by others for more thorough reports. Many news shows will include videos taken by individuals and rebroadcast. This wealth of content allows us to get a wider perspective of the world.
Today, our audience can be global. When major events happen, there are many ways to follow along. How does this affect our governments and societies? Events like the Syrian refugee crisis can be covered in greater depth thanks to video, and more people can be exposed to it.
The many opinions of everyone in plain view can cause greater polarization, as seen in US politics, but it can allow for individuals from anywhere to make meaningful connections. Our site was formed by individuals online, and our audience discovered us through the Internet. I don’t know who our readers are, or their backgrounds, but we’ve been able to connect over mutual interests. As the Internet connects more people, there is the potential for it to foster more animosity or more understanding. Hopefully it will be force for good.