Thursday, May 01, 2014

The wrath -- and the protection -- of the crowd

Last week, we saw how quickly a viral post on the Internet can damage a person when a recording of Donald Sterling's conversation with his young girlfriend was posted. He was quickly outed as a racist and a bully who used his power to get his way and buy affection. He also seemed quite illogical -- perhaps suffering from dementia.


Today, Cuban dissident Yoani Sánchez posted a vivid description of a caudillo watching a coerced crowd cheering him at a large May Day rally on her blog. The Internet has provided visibility for Sánchez -- her blog has won international awards and her posts are re-posted on the Huffington Post and other sites. Would she have dared to speak this way without the cover of her Internet-based fame?


Would she have dared entitle her post "Raúl Castro: Man alone in the crowd" or included this unflattering photo of him?