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Protesters' real-time record on social media

People who joined the nine anti-government protest marches yesterday turned to social media as a key communication channel to show their actions to the world, using the hash tag #Thaiuprising.

Social media has played an important role in organising protests around the world, and in recent days it has been Thailand's turn. People from many walks of life took to the streets yesterday to join marches to Government House to show the world they do not accept Yingluck Shinawatra's government. They were not deterred by her announcement yesterday morning that said she had sought royal approval for a House dissolution to return power to the people and to solve the ongoing political conflict.

Protesters continually posted photos on social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, allowing people around the world to make real-time contact with the protest, simply by following the hash tag #Thaiuprising.

This hash tag belongs to everyone who joined the marches. It allowed people to easily gather real-time information on the movement of the marches, in addition to information found using news agencies' dedicated hash tags.

On Instagram, people have been posting photographs of their marches. Most of them are "selfie" shots.

A search for photographs with #Thaiuprising at Web Stagram (http://web.stagram.com/), the Instagram Web-viewer program, at 4.15pm yesterday turned up more than 6,367 photos publicly posted under the hash tag.

According to Thailand's Twitter trending gauge at http://www.lab.in.th/thaitrend/, as of 4pm, the hash tag #Thaiuprising ranked 10th with 8,907 hits (or mentions on Twitter). It was the most popular topic on Twitter.

Through social media, the public could follow in full the movements of all nine marches, which left from nine different starting points bound for the same destination - Government House.

As most people who joined the march took photographs and coordinated ahead of time to post them on social media networks using the same hash tag, #Thaiuprising, they were able to demonstrate their stance to the world. The marches took almost the whole day, starting from 9.39am until after 4pm.


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