Thanks for the friends’ and followers’ boom

During the last two weeks I have received almost 800 friend requests on Facebook and about 1000 new followers. It’s overwhelming and warms my heart beyond words.

Many many thanks for your trust and support – and for not only thinking it but taking time to tell it.

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I can only assume that it is all because of my visit to Damascus and Aleppo. Literally thousands have thanked me for my short texts and photos from there – and for taking the risk going there.

Lots of people go to difficult places, be they humanitarian workers, journalists, photographers, UN people, other diplomats or civil society organisations. But – regrettably, I would say – it is not often I’ve met other researchers in war zones.

Those of us who go, go because we feel we have a duty, because we are curious and must see for ourselves and because a visit opens doors to people, to the suffering and to natural human solidarity.

Media focus on all those with weapons in their hands – the warlords. I’ve always felt enriched and grateful to all the others one can meet, wonderful people who stand up and stand together, struggle, help their neighbours – and survive the other main type of people present, the murderers who get all the fame.

I’m no hero. Just that you know. Many (more) could do what I do.

But back to the social media boom, I’ve just experienced.

5000 Facebook friends – and then what?

The “problem” is that I now have 5000 friends on my Facebook profile and cannot accept more. I’ve investigated whether I should create a public figure/celebrity page which is what Facebook seems to propose.

But I have decided against it because it puts other restrictions on you and limits two-way communication, particularly with other profiles.

Two-way communication is important in my view when we want to create debate and mobilise opinions for social change.

I’ve configured my profile so that all of you who have requested friendship should have received a message – when trying to make friends – that you cannot become friends but you can be a follower.

To me you are as much friends here as those who, earlier, became friends.

And there is nothing you or I can do about these Facebook policies.

So followers, I see you as friends as good as any!

 

Statistics moving upward with surprising speed

Finally a little statistics which, in my view, tells about the increasing strength of the social media and the decreasing strength of the traditional ones.

My profile and my three pages on Facebook – TFF, Oberg PhotoGraphics and Danmark For Fred Med Fredelige Midler (Denmark for Peace By Peaceful Means) – now have combined 15.000 friends and likes. And 12.000 followers.

The combined TFF-Oberg Twitter account has only 950 followers – but then Twitter has never been a multi-way media but basically one-way telegram-style messages. And we are on Google+ too but it’s even smaller.

Finally a plea: I hope you will keep on sharing and sharing and commenting. It is the only way to build a sustained opinion critical of the rampant violence and militarism and supportive of constructive peace thinking and new policies.

Again, heartfelt thanks to you from TFF and myself!

PS Should you find that you can support us with any sum from US$ 5 and upwards, please go here. All TFF and I do for peace is unpaid and costs are covered exclusively by citizens and no corporate or government money.
That’s why we can speak freely what we believe is true and provide you with analyses, debates and photos based on competence and integrity.

Wars&OtherViol_NEW_PhSh kopia

 

5 responses to “Thanks for the friends’ and followers’ boom

  1. I’d be interested in following you, but what I have seen so far from your hand is so unbearbly and uncritically pro-Assad with not a shred of understandig for why people rised against the Assad dictatorship and why so many continue to fight it.

    Not a shred.

  2. Thank you, Leah Peterson. As a principle, I do not participate in the blame game – has one done a little or much more harm than the other. I’m on the side of the suffering civilians – 23 million people and on no side that has used violence.
    I am also not a human rights experts and it was not part of my conflict analysis and peace mission to study human rights violations. Your argument is as relevant as asking Doctors Without Border what the economic situation of Syria’s agriculture is.
    Third, I’m well aware of the human rights violations by the governments. That said, it in no way gives a carte blanche to the West and its allies to conduct a proxy war through a series of organisations that any normal human being – and legal expertise – would call terrorists.
    Fourth, much has been written about the Syrian government’s violence – and far too little about that of the NATO countries who have no legal rights to commit aggression on – and install sanctions on – a sovereign member of the UN.
    It is OK with me if you don’t follow. I am not trying to please everybody but have a “different” story to tell.
    Best – Jan

  3. Jan Oberg

    You do not “do not participate in the blame game”??? Is that why 99% of what you write somehow ends up blaming “The West”, “The US” etc for everything bad?

    Come on..

    Yes I certainly appreciate that there are more than one angle to the Syrian quagmire but please. Being an Assad-Putin echo is not a counterweight to a (Western) narrative. Its is in effect the exact same methods just in the service of another set of weapons and violence.

    You may think otherwise. Yoe may even have convinced yourself that you are pure, informed and in the service of the Good while you hold the microphones for the Assad fascists. But in effect you are just another brick in the wall. Assad “liberated” Aleppo the same way his dad “liberated” Hama in 1982. War crimes following war crimes. And a Jan Oberg who is so blind in his hatred of “The West” that he doesn’t care.

    And people ask why peace is so elusive?

  4. Dear Leah Peterson
    It is your right to think what you will, to not dialogue but continue your aggressive, personifying hateful monologue.
    But it is also my right to decide what kind of views and accusations I accept on my personal blog. I want to keep the ceiling very high and have absolutely no problems with people who disagree with me, but you are misusing this place for your own bizarre distortions without even seeing or reading what I have published.
    If you write one more time like this – things like “hold the microphones for the Assad fascists” (btw, who talked about hatred?) – your comment will be deleted on the spot. Your decision.
    Best – Jan Oberg

  5. Dear Jan Oberg

    Don’t worry. We cannot and will not agree on this and while I fully stand by every word I have written, and while and I’m perfectly sure how this will play out, there is no need for us to engage in “sniping”. I’ll leave you with your allies, and I’ll leave to stay with mine.

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