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« Kah Walla In Her Own Words: "We Now Have Extreme Clarity on the Absolute Need for Change" | Main | The Digital Disconnect and Misconceptions about "Revolution 2.0" »

March 08, 2011

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WGB

And who again is/was theorizing cynically that the NICT's can't cause a revolution in Cameroon...nobody fears what is not dangerous(even to its own noxious being). the threat is real & present, & the regime knows!

moomoo man

Biýa and gang to ban email and cell phones next week. His predecessor had people open and read mail and didi not want tv. Bunch of primitive thugs.

cadmun

1. Sensationalist greed: Cameroon Bans Twitter Via SMS to Insulate Itself Against Digital Activists

2. Distorted context: "That the Twitter short code could be used for political activism was simply incidental in the Cameroonian context. Its real power was in its ability to drive innovation in a vast array of non-political fields."

3. Imbalanced reporting: "And during the February 23 protests , the international media relied primarily on Tweets for information on what was going on in the country."

4. Opinions disguised as facts: "In country where politics trumps everything else and where the survival of the Biya regime is becoming a self-destructive obsession,the socio-economic benefits of Twitter have been completely overlooked in favor of a largely symbolic policy which does not change the digital balance of power between the regime and the digital activists within and out of Cameroon..."

5. Your conclusions are always bias: "So, unless the government plans a total Internet blackout, including the banning of all mobile phones and standard SMS,
then it has embarked on a very futile battle which it will never win."

Are you interested in finding out the truth Or are you interested only in inciting public unrest. For a start, you make no reference to any official press release from MTN, if there is one.
Secondly, give references to your arguements so we know on which sources your findings and conclusions were based.

Bande Peter

Cardmum, since this report by Tande is biased, I would have expected you to give us the "real" story...

The usual disinformation campaign will not work below because even MTN officials are saying exactly the same thing in the open on. See for example a couple of tweets from the MTN official who is the company's main main voice on Twitter. You be the judge:

1. @JulieOwono @bubakaele #MTNCameroon had no intention disconnecting #SMSTweets but didn't have other options neither. #Cmr #Government

2. @mambenanje @AGROHUB We do understand #SMSTweets frustration, but #MTNCameroon had 2 stop by #Government instruction until further notice.
about 14 hours ago via web in reply to mambenanje

3. @AGROHUB @JulieOwono We can't comment further than "security reasons" on #Government instructions for #SMSTweets suspension #MTNCameroon.
about 13 hours ago via web in reply to AGROHUB
====
That is as official as it can get! The government has indeed concluded that Twitter is a threat to national security. Again you government folks with your fake names and trolling blogs to sow confusion will not succeed this time around. Twitter or no Twitter, your team is losing the cyber-war!

The Observer

Cadmum, let me understand you well; 2 weeks ago, the government spokeperson goes on the air to alert the nation that Twitter and Facebook want to "massacre" cameroonian children and overthrow the Biya regime. Today it armtwists MTN to stop its Twitter sms service and you don't see the link???? Wonders shall never end!!!

s

TWEETER REVOLUTIONNAIRES, GO TO CAMEROON!!!!

Ngahchangong

Mr Tande,not everyone can read the hand-writing on the wall.You have alerted the world and all the freedom fighters already.Biya and those behind him can "NEVER" win the war against cyber.Stay tight my brother,the clock is ticking,and ticking very steadily.Biya can smell his fall coming already;this is 2011.
Ngahchangong

cadmun

Anyone who exposes media hypocrisy is whitewashed as a "government agent". When i question the credibility of a media report, i get insulted by the very people campaigning for democracy in Cameroon.
We want change, but not all Cameroonians are earger to accept such an epic scam.What is very wrong is the way the blogger choses to present his story: We are faced with a blogger who distorts and spins the story,is bias,and has agenda.Make no mistake,the blogger’s intention is to incite public unrest.You cannot go on playing with people's lives while you and your family are sheltered abroad.
Cameroonians wakeup!
We want genuine change in our country. Let us not get emotionally involved and forget the essence of our campaign for change...

Bande Peter

cadmum, can you please disprove any of these facts?

1. Twitter's SMS service through MTN has been banned in Cameroon

2. MTN officials say it was not their decision and that they were asked to end the service for reasons of "state security"

3. A few weeks ago, the spokesperson of the Cameroon government specifically targetted Twitter and Facebook as tools being used to threaten "state security"

4. The banning of this service has more effects on non-political organizations which were the ones primarily using the service

5. The government action will have absolutely have no effect on the Diaspora community whom the government blames for using Twitter to forment revolt in Cameroon because this community never used the service in the first place.

These are facts not opinions. Please provide the contrary rather than giving that stale line about people being abroad and promoting chaos in Cameroon. I live in Douala and I am writing this comment from my living room; you can have your secret police check my IP address if you care.

BTW, if the blogger's only crime is "bias" against the Biya regime, then that is a million times better than the indiscriminate murder of Cameroonians by the Biya regime. I will take bias over murder any time, any day!

My name is Bande Peter and I approve this message. I live in Douala and you are free to send your secret police to pick me up. The era of fear is over!!!

cadmun

Maybe you cannot distinguish an opinion from a fact."A genuine statement (fact)must be capable of conclusive verification',meaning that 'if there is no possible way to determine whether a statement is true then that statement has no meaning whatsoever.For the meaning of a statement is the method of its verification (Popper 1954:17)." You are making reference to a tweet from JulieOwono as the source of this singular statement.I have accessed the MTN website (http://www.mtncameroon.net), but there is no official statement from the company.Is he the Press Officer/Information Secretary for MTN? Maybe you do not understand corporate responsibilities.

Secondly, whether the Cameroon government is guilty or not of murdering its citizens is not the issue at hand. We are debating the above report and its implication.

Not every Cameroonian will rush to embrace the rhetoric of the report.There are few Cameroonians whom Bernard Fonlon describes as genuine intellectuals who "must stand back,detached and scrutinise,and ponder,and evaluate;and accept or reject things on their intrinsic merit,on principle and conviction (Fonlon 2009:92)."

Before you get too emotional, my advice is that you look retrospectively to the failed February 23 protest and ask what went wrong and how future mobilization for change can be successful.

I stand for genuine change in Cameroon
The devil you know is better than the devil you do not know.

Bande Peter

Cadmun, please if you can't read simple tweets, then don't refer them. JulieOwono did not write a tweet. It was sent to her by the MTN official. If you can;'t track the tweet on Twitter (probably to unleash your goons on the official) then that is your problem.

How about this? The MTN's twitter service was banned because for technical rather than political reasons. Anyone who says otherwise simply wants war in Cameroon. Case closed! Massa, make I go sleep; it is already past my bed time here in Douala.

BTW, the person who says he prefers the devil he knows to the one that he doesn't is not for any type of change but for the status quo. Just saying...

cadmun

As a Cameroonian, and one of the majority who doesn't use Twitter, i depend on official press releases from companies concern, especially MTN for information.I keep hearing "an MTN Official" is quoted as saying or tweeting. Is the MTN Official speaking on behalf of the company or is s/he expressing a personal opinion?

"...the person who says he prefers the devil he knows to the one that he doesn't is not for any type of change but for the status quo." Maybe you miss the essence of my arguement or you deliberately want to contradict my statement.
I am advocating for a change in Cameroon,but a genuine change. Hence we must be cautious of the change we advocate for......
There is a difference in these statements;
Better the devil you know than the devil you do not know.
Better the devil you know than the angel you do not know.
I am talking of the former while you are talking of the latter.
Oncemore don't get too emotional..

cadmun

Why the devil you know is better than the devil you do not know (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYpxfBlnEWA&feature=player_embedded).
Be careful with the change you are asking for. We need change, YES, but what kind of change......

Howard Nju

Cardmun,

Official press releases must not be soviet-stlyed press released read over radio or published on a newspaper center spread. Corporations and governments now post official statements on Social media sites to reach more people and to cut down costs. MTN Cameroon is one of the first Cameroonian companies to do this, so when the MTN Chief Information Officer tweets about something concerning his company, he is doing so in an official capacity.

Check out the following timeline on Global Voices online about the MTN Twitter Saga. http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/03/10/cameroon-netizens-react-to-sms-to-tweet-ban/

You can also check out Le Monde and The Washington Post blog for more insider info

cadmun

Thanks Howard for your references.I have checked the recommended links and others carrying the story.See below.It is true that MTN has stopped its Twitter services as its CIO confirmed.
1. http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/03/09/cameroon_bans_mobile_twitter_service
2.http://www.lemonde.fr/technologies/article/2011/03/10/le-cameroun-interdit-la-version-mobile-de-twitter_1491009_651865.html
3.http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/03/10/cameroon-netizens-react-to-sms-to-tweet-ban/
4.http://twitter.com/search?q=%23MTNCameroon

My arguement was not that MTN Cameroon had stopped its services, rather it was the implication of this story.Refer to my first comment; Opinions disguised as fact.
Secondly,if you follow the links above, you will find a common pattern. They all make reference to this blogger as the source of their story.His report was published on the 8th, and the others follow on the 9th and 10th of March.We have a blogger who is beating drums of war, inciting Cameroonians to revolt against the Biya regime.Yet he cannot offer a constructive criticism towards the present regime.
Popular uprising in Tunisia and Egypt have toppled their governments, yet popular uprising in Libya is taking the country
towards civil war and a failed state is gradually emerging.Take Somalia for instance.....
What is the right way forward for Cameroon?
Let us not get carried away with emotion and copy blindly.Cameroon has its unique identity with its number of tribes and dialect, our history is not thesame as that of Egypt or Tunisia.
Can we achieve good governance and economic prosperity without dragging Cameroon into a civil war?
It is an issue to brain storm and allow people to challenge each other on their ideas.That is the way forward for our beloved country.I think any political activist or blogger whose interest is the prosperity of our nation will strive towards that path.
The reminders of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, and Congo Kinshasa are still fresh..Let us tread careful and hesitate in making remarks that fuel hatred within our nation.
If our leaders are to be held accountable, it is not through the barrel of a gun.

Howard Nju

Cadmun, why don't you jusrt accept that you were wrong? First you claimed that Tande wanted to start a civil war by lying that Twitter had been banned by the government due to reasons of national security. You even challenged the claim that this statement was made by MTN officials. That was the essence of your long arguments. Now, faced with irrefutable facts confirming Tande's claim, you are now changing your tune to talk about hatred and the barrel of the gun? Did Tande call for war or ask anyone to hate anyone? If anything, you're the one brimming with hate because someone has dared to write an article that is critical of you beloved regime - the devil you know.

Someone asked you 5 critical questions above which you avoided answering and in typical Cameroonian fashion started quoting Fonlon!!

BTW, check out the solid investigative work done on this issue by former Le Messager journalist, Gustav Azebaze who has talked to officials at the Ministry of Telecommunications who reveal that the order to ban twitter via SMS was the work of the newly created National Security Council.

Man, give it up; you've been exposed for the fraud that you are. I'll advise all others to ignore you since you're merely a troll trying to distract from the issue.

LNFAW

http://lnfaw.blogspot.com/

cadmun

"First you claimed that Tande wanted to start a civil war by lying that Twitter had been banned by the government due to reasons of national security.You even challenged the claim that this statement was made by MTN officials.That was the essence of your long arguments."
AMBIGUITY:Please show me from Tande's report where he quotes clearly that Georges Mpoudi Ngole,CIO for MTN Cameroon was the source of the story. The Tweet in his article from MTN simply read "Twitter SMS Connectivity Service suspended from March 07, 2011 till further notice." Compare that to the title of his article and tell me if it is not a sensationalist greed.
It is only after i challenge his article that Peter Bande (aka Tande) post the tweets from Georges Mpoudi Ngole,CIO for MTN Cameroon,which itself wasn't helpful cause it was not plain if he was expressing and opinion or making a public statement on behalf of his company.
Tande's report was vague, that you should acknowledge.

"Did Tande call for war or ask anyone to hate anyone?" THAT YOU CAN ANSWER YOURSELF, THE CONTEXT OF THE ARTICLE SAYS IT ALL.
Someone asked you 5 critical questions above which you avoided answering and in typical Cameroonian fashion started quoting Fonlon!! THEY WERE NOT QUESTIONS
cadmum, can you please disprove any of these facts?-Bande Peter
These are facts not opinions. Please provide the contrary rather than giving that stale line about people being abroad and promoting chaos in Cameroon.-Bande Peter
REFER TO MY FIRST COMMENT...I CHALLENGE THE SOURCE OF THE STORY...THE ENTIRE REPORT WAS VAGUE.YOU CANNOT USE HEADLINES SUCH AS THE ONE ABOVE AND NOT EXPECT PEOPLE TO ASK QUESTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS
Man, give it up; you've been exposed for the fraud that you are. I'll advise all others to ignore you since you're merely a troll trying to distract from the issue.
THE WISE WILL JUDGE FOR THEMSELVES...I AM TIRED OF THIS "GOVERNMENT AGENT STUFF". ANY PERSON WHO CHALLENGES THE VOICE OF OPPOSITION IS A GOVERNMENT AGENT...HOW SHORT SIGHTED OF YOU...YET WE ARE CALLING FOR DEMOCRATIC REFORMS.

Ambe Johnson

Isn't it funny that cadmun is determined to silence the owner of this blog from expressing his opinions, but is not ashamed to use this same platform to express his own opinions? You cameroonians are a very funny bunch

cadmun

By silence, i assumme you mean (stopping the reporter from expressing his opinion).
Then you a wrong.
This weblog has a commenting forum to enable readers to respond and sometimes correct a reporter.A reader who request evidence and clarification in no way seeks to silence the reporter.
It is for the reporter to either acknowledge the accusations and doubts express by his readers or expose his hypocrisy by placing the burden of proof on his readers. As this blogger has done.

Eboue

Cadmun, the blogger wrote an article (whose facts were ultimately confirmed by subsequent reports), you adopted a point of view which others in this public square corrected. where exactly is the hypocrisy. The blogger has no obligation to respond to every comment on his blog especially when readers are engaged in a spirited debate. In my opinion, that is treating his readers like mature adults rather than children who have to be hand-held to a particular opinion like the Biya regime does.

In any case, this is a dead issue. Twitter was banned in Cameroon for reasons of national security; confirmed by MTN and the minister of post and telecommunications who declared a couple of days ago that « ce qui est en jeu ce ne sont pas les réseaux de télécommunication en tant que tels, mais, les contenus qui sont véhiculés. »

So the question Mr/Ms. Cadmun is a simple one. Is the government right to ban twitter because it is used to express views that are not in its favor? Shouldn't the government try to engage Cameroonians using social networks rather than trying to silence them? what exactly is this "contenu" that scares the Biya regime? If you have the answers, please respond and if you don't then let's close this chapter and move on to more topical issues. The Twitter issue has been already beaten to death by you

cadmun

Dance don hot, juju don comot.

WATCH THIS SPACE!

Nii

Every so often i read an interesting article that "annoyingly" sticks in my mind and refuses to be shifted. This is one of those :)

cadmun

It seems some readers have failed to discern why i insist on calling this reporter a hypocrite.The reporter represents himself as a citizen journalism, while describing the Biya regime as "becoming a self-destructive obsession..."Yet his obsession to oust the regime at any cost has blinded him from the plight of the voiceless Cameroonians.Thus making him part of the problem rather than the solution.I will justify this statement using the above report as evidence.
In his introduction,he draws allusion to the uprising Tunisia and Egypt without highlighting the socioeconomic,technological
,political and cultural differences between the Maghreb and the sub saharan Africa.His main arguement has been that the governments ban of Twitter has had little effect on the political landscape rather it has affected small business.Here we have two elephants (i.e the government and online political activists in the diaspora such as him) fighting,and it is the grass (common cameroonians) that are suffering.
As a citizen journalist, one would expect a constructive criticism on his part.That he should draw the governments attention to the negative effect of this policy and to try and persuade the government to reconsider its policy for the sake of common cameroonians that depend on the Twitter services for their economic lifeline.
Rather, this is his conclusion, "So, unless the government plans a total Internet blackout, including the banning of all mobile phones and standard SMS, then it has embarked on a very futile battle which it will never win."
Let us be cautious with the change we are advocating for, cause we may bite more than we can chew.

bored to death

OK cadmum we don hear you. YOur repetitive emails are now becoming very tedious and even annoying!!! How many times do you want to make the same point? Those who agree with you already agree with you and those who don't never will. So anything you're doing now is just boring people to death. Eish!!!! Like someone said, time to look for another battle. The blogger wrote his "hypocritical" piece, and you wrote your "sensible" pieces, none of which were censored like your friends of Cameroon Reibune or CRTV would do. That is denmocracy at its finest. Now leave people dem make dem drink wata!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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