Romania Twitter Riot

Two friends over a social network

The Romania Twitter riot involved political aspects in the country of Moldova. The use of electronic means to communicate anger, start online protests or "flame wars" with others began with the birth of the Internet and continues even today. Decades ago, protests and riots may have been communicated by flyers and word-of-mouth, but now people can gather quickly just by using different social networks. The Romania Twitter riot inception was because of that method.

Political Climate in Moldova

Vladimir Voronin came to power in 2005 and had desires to become diplomatically closer to Russia. In order to do so, Romania needed to be left behind. President Voronin has accused Romania of wanting to annex Moldova as part of Romania. As the years passed with Voronin in charge, relations with Romania have become thin.

Recent Election

Voronin and his Communist Party won the election that put him back in charge of Moldova. The bigger issue is that they won 50 percent of the constituents' vote, which caused suspicion throughout the country. Voronin has already served two terms and winning 50 percent or more of the vote means that the Communist Party can alter and amend their Constitution as they see fit; mainly, they want to amend the Constitution so that Voronin can preside over Moldova for a third term. Many believe the election was rigged because of the improbable outcome of having 50 percent of the vote, since the Communist party was extremely unpopular at the time of the election.

Because fraud was suspected-despite observations from a third party European political watchdog-a Romanian newspaper asked their Moldovian readers to report any cases of voter abuse. They received hundreds of cases within a matter of hours.

Voronin responded by forcing the Romanian ambassador back to his country and setting Visa restriction on Romanians because of the Romania Twitter Riot.

Anger

The Romania Twitter riots are being blamed on Romania because the longer that Voronin stays in office, the less Moldova relies on Romania. Both sides, Moldova and Romania, have instituted reactive policies to the riots. Voronin plainly accuses Romania of being involved in everything that has started the riots.

Romania vehemently denies any involvement in instigating the riots and promises retaliatory action if Voronin continues of his path of banishing Romanians from the country and imposing restrictions on current Romanians living in Moldova.

Romania Twitter Riot

The Romania Twitter riot was a coordinated protest through Twitter and Facebook. Because of the efficient nature of communication used, students and others were able to easily group together in a statement of defiance. Most of the 10,000 or so protestors were students.

The riots occurred in the capital city of Chsinau. Riot police attempted to quell the crowd, but since they were outnumbered, they retreated. This allowed the protestors to go inside the parliament building and offices and set fires, break windows and destroy whatever what inside.

At first, Voronin and his Party underestimated how much support the opposition would get. But because of Twitter and Facebook, dissension spread fast, leaving no room for debate. Negative written attacks were passed from profile to profile and sent from friend to friend. Some political observers in the Western world noted that Voronin and his leaders "caught the opposition political leaders by surprise." (Saeed Ahmed) Unfortunately, the Communist Party didn't take the protest serious and many of the rioters used their frustration on the buildings.

The Use of Twitter and Facebook as a Gathering Place

Since there are millions of users on Twitter and Facebook daily, it's easy to get a group of like-minded people together electronically. In a matter of seconds you can see who's upset, who's saying what and who's organizing a rally. Flyers and telephones have gone the way of the keyboard and just like the former ways of creating rallies, the latter methods need to be used appropriately.

Romania Twitter Riot