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Syria: Can Tweets Prevent a Massacre?

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.

Following the worst day of violence Syria has seen since protests broke out across the country in February, Syrian opposition and their supporters around the world have begun an attempt to raise global awareness of events in the country, utilizing a hashtag, #RamadanMassacre, that was started on Sunday to keep track of reports from the city of Hama.

@nmoawad, from Lebanon, summed up the purpose of the campaign in a tweet early Monday morning:

Join us in raising awareness by tweeting using the hashtag #RamadanMassacre for #Hama | 2am Cairo Time

Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff depicts Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad atop a tank

Syrian Twitter user @LeShaque shared his thoughts:

I'll leave it to my Kurdish compatriots to provide you with a list of massacres they've suffered at the hands of Assads. #RamadanMassacre

@BachaarArnaout offered a tweet of support to Syrian protesters:

Since march, +2000 have been killed by #Assad in #Syria but the brave people are determined to topple the regime. #RamadanMassacre

An avatar in remembrance of Sunday's events in Hama, used by Twitter users

An avatar in remembrance of Sunday's events in Hama, used by Twitter users

Utilizing an avatar created for remembrance of Sunday's events in Hama, US-based @ran00n95 posted in solidarity:

 

u will not silence us we the world know what u have done and we will not stay silent and let it continue #RamadanMassacre #Syria

@rallaf issued a call to Muslim readers, asking:

What did you have for Iftar today? #Hama residents had tank shells. #RamadanMassacre #Syria

But in response to a tweet from @zmossabasha that stated, “A tweet can prevent a massacre!!”, NPR journalist Andy Carvin asked, “Can it?”, echoing the sentiment of many who have suggested that, while social media can most certainly expand awareness, it may have little impact on events in countries like Syria, where the state clearly has the upper hand.

Nevertheless, the campaign continues, as Syrian opposition and their supporters attempt to get the #RamadanMassacre hashtag to trend on Twitter's trending topics list.

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.

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