This week the world continues to be captivated by the wave of democracy protests in the Middle East. Libya is the third country where protesters look poised to topple a long serving autocratic regime. However, Libya’s leader, Muammar al-Gaddafi, seems determined to not go quietly. There are widespread reports of Libyan security forces using live ammunition and even airstrikes to crush the revolt.
Getting information out of Libya has been difficult because, unlike Egypt, there has been no significant journalistic presence in the county since protests broke out. To overcome this obstacle, news organizations like Al Jazeera have been relying more on social media to gather information on events on the ground. Likewise, as I did in Tunisia and Egypt, I —and many others—have turned have again turned Twitter to follow the events on the protests.
The following is a partial list of Twitterers reporting on events in Libya. The list is far from comprehensive, but is a jumping off point for people interesting in getting the latest, rawest information on the protests.
Andy Carvin has played a central role in relaying information on the Libyan revolution on Twitter. His Twitter stream is updated minute by minute, providing updates both from Libyans and news organizations. His tweeting is raw; often the information is unconfirmed (which he labels as such), but he is a critical node spreading news and information on the protests.
Sultan Al Qassemi is a commentator on Middle Eastern affairs. During Egypt’s revolution, I relied heavily on Al Qassemi for information on events in the country. Now he is providing the same quality reporting during Libya’s revolution. His tweets are a mix of news and analysis, and less rapid fire than Andy Carvin. However they make up for it with calm, informed commentary on events.
AliTweel is a Libyan living in Tripoli. He is a central part of a small group of Libyan Twitters that have been instrumental at getting information out of the country after the media blackout.
Ghazi Gheblawi is a surgeon and new media writer/broadcaster living in London. He is plugged into the Libyan Twittersphere and has been using his contacts to help report on events on the ground.
Tripolitanian is an anonymous Libyan. Many of his tweets have relayed information about what is being shown on Libyan State TV and reporting on other areas in the country.
Sherine Tadros is an Al Jazeera reporter for the Europe, United States, and the Middle East. Her Twitter stream is a well curated mix of retweets and confirmed news stories.
Hisham Matar is a novelist from (among other places) Libya. Matar’s tweets are less about reporting events on the ground and more about providing original commentary on Libyan events.
Abdurahman Warsame is a broadcast journalist for Al Jazeera and a blogger. Over the last 24 hours he has been a valuable source for reporting events before they appear on Al Jazeera and other news stations.
Iyad El-Baghdadi is a businessman from Dubai who has been following events in Libya closely. His stream mostly offers retweeted messages from news and Libyans.
Are there others I’ve missed? Please leave suggestions in the comments.
UPDATE: A user on Twitter suggests @ShababLibya, which is the twitter account for the facebook group “The Libyan Youth Movement”