I’ve been meaning to write a post encouraging everyone to follow @hellofrmSG, the official Singapore Rotation Curation Project Twitter Account.
The concept originated December 10, 2011, when Svenska Institutet and VisitSweden launched Curators of Sweden. The project hands the official Twitter account @Sweden to a new Swedish person every week to manage, with the expressed goal to manifest Swedish diversity and progressiveness through their own personality.
The original idea has been reported on in mass media around the world and inspired the launch of many similar projects. The Twitter account @PeopleofLeeds started January 15, 2012, where citizens of Leeds represent their hometown. January 18, 2012, @WeAreAustralia and @TweetWeekUSA, followed by @CuratorsMexico and @BasquesAbroad January 21. All of these are unofficial accounts without governmental influence or sanctions, as well as the actual foundation for the concept of Rotation Curation, which is to let official and unofficial projects, countries, cities, companies, cultural, and, or other types of groups to rotate their spokespersons, curators, every week. source
@hellofrmSG started the first week of July, and has had several curators. In the first week we learned about the history of various streets and locations around Singapore. In the second week, we learned about various types of wildlife around Singapore. The third week was led by a philosophy student. During the fourth week, we were hearing from Zack (@POZboySG), a young HIV+ Singaporean. He was tweeting about the realities of life with HIV when the account was suspended.
Currently @hellofrmSG is still suspended. The organizers have reason to believe that it was suspended not by the government, but by a reader who objected to Zack’s content. It was also suspended only days after @WeAreAustralia was also suspended.
The Rotation Curation Project’s official blog has put out the following statement
On June 3, 2012, however, with no warning and no explanation, Twitter suspended the @IAm_Pakistan account. On June 11, after vociferous protest from #RotationCuration followers, the @IAm_Pakistan account was restored.
Now, however, as of July 24, both @WeAreAustralia and @hellofrmSG (Singapore) have similarly been suspended, with no explanation whatsoever from Twitter.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, January 27, 2012, in What Does Twitter’s Country-by-Country Takedown System Mean for Freedom of Expression?, Twitter will only suppress content for IP addresses within a specific country when asked to do so by the specific country and only for legal reasons local to that country. Beyond this, “Twitter is taking two additional steps to ensure that users know that the censorship has happened. First, they are giving users notice when they seek that content. Second, they are sending the notices they receive to the Chilling Effects Project, which publishes the orders, creating an archive.”
But in the case of @WeAreAustralia and @hellofrmSG (as with @IAm_Pakistan) there has been no notice and there has been nothing posted to the Chilling Effects Project database.
Within the same entry, they have organized a petition that you can and should sign, which will be presented to twitter in person on August 1rst, asking for the reinstatement of @WeAreAustralia and @hellofrmSG.
I am friends with one of the organizers of @hellofrmSG and will be one of the weekly curators later this year. I think the rotation curation project is a fascinating way to learn more about people who live in the same country as I, and other countries as well. I follow a number of them. I’m also following the NYC rotation curation project, because as I was recently saying to a friend, we all have our own little slice of NYC, and I’m always interested in learning about someone else’s. I really want to see @hellofrmSG reinstated. Let’s get as many signatures as possible.