Syria’s protesters turn to Facebook to expose ‘citizen spies’: Activists use the internet to find and unmask those they suspect of reporting their neighbours to security forces
During nearly half a century of one-party rule, Syria’s Ba’ath regime has maintained its iron grip on a nation of 22 million people through a network of civilian informers known as the awainiyya – the watchers.
As the uprising against Assad’s regime approaches its eighth month, security services are relying ever more heavily on their network of citizen spies to suppress protests, activists said.
As the attempted revolution in Syria transforms power relations in one of the world’s last police states, protesters are using social media to fight back. Facebook now hosts dozens of sites run by Syrian activists on which the names, addresses and photos of suspected informers are posted.