The Cutline

The revolution will be livestreamed–at least in Oakland

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Cutline

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(Occupy Oakland)

The violence that erupted during the Occupy Oakland protest on Tuesday night, like most events in the social media age, was captured on digital video cameras by protesters and news reporters. Footage of the confrontation between police officers and protestors has been uploaded and distributed online--via Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and blogs--in near-real-time. Like several other uprisings we've seen this year--including the revolution in Cairo--the Oakland clash was also streamed live, giving viewers an unfiltered glimpse at what was a choatic scene

The Oakland Tribune covered the confrontation with a short video report on the mass arrests. The New York Times shot its own video from the street.

Police used teargas to subdue hundreds of demonstrators, creating a fog that made the images seem even more dramatic. City officials said early Tuesday that 97 arrests were made among the estimated 1,000 protesters there.

Occupy Oakland organizers linked to a livestream from a camera overlooking the plaza near city hall where the clashes occurred. The livestream was down briefly on Tuesday, but quickly returned.

The AP put together highlights of the confrontation, which lasted several hours:

So did ABC's "Good Morning America":

Protesters uploaded images of bruises allegedly incurred from their run-ins with police officials to photosharing sites such as Flickr and Yfrog.

Occupy organizers have criticized the media for a lack of coverage of the protests--and for employing a dismissive tone when they are covered. But in the case of the Oakland violence, some critics assailed the mainstream media's coverage of for relying too much on the accounts of protesters and eyewitnesses.

"Thanks to the flood of social media dispatches that now emanates from an occurrence like yesterday's," FishbowlLA.com's Richard Horgan wrote, "misinformation is spread more quickly than ever and often carelessly picked up by the media."

Horgan noted that reports of flash-grenades used by police were later reported to be "the result of protester-ignited fireworks."

"I haven't seen a single mainstream media account that accurately described the scene," John Hayward wrote in a post on the conservative  website HumanEvents.com. "They generally note the number of arrests, and perhaps mention that tear gas and beanbag guns were used, but give the impression that it was something less than the full-blown violent street riot . . .  described and documented. Very few national media accounts mention that the Occupy Oakland mob launched a counter-attack and tried to take their camp back from police."

It's worth noting that according to FBLA, Hayward, a Human Events staff writer, wrote his post from Florida.

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