For those inside and outside of Ukraine and Venezuela, social media is the only media that matters

For those inside and outside of Ukraine and Venezuela, social media is the only media that matters

Gigaom

Many of us have grown accustomed by now to the role that Twitter (s twtr) and Facebook (s fb) and other forms of social media like Instagram play in our lives, especially the way they are used during communal events like the Olympics or the Super Bowl. But watching them during a crisis like the recent uprisings in Ukraine and Venezuela reinforces just how powerful this kind of crowdsourced, human-scale media can be as a real-time information source.

Ukraine has been in an uneasy state of tension for several months now, ever since president Viktor Yanukovych reneged on his earlier promises to sign a trade deal with the European Union in favor of strengthening the country’s ties to Russia. But just a few days ago, that tension exploded into violence, after police tried to crack down on a demonstration in Kyiv’s Independence Square.

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