Hundreds of thousands of Columbians are expected to march today in 185 cities across the globe in protest of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and their use of kidnapping as a weapon. How did such a mass movement get started?  Facebook.

The Christian Science Monitor reports,

“We expected the idea to resound with a lot of people but not so much and not so quickly,” says Oscar Morales, who started the Facebook group against the FARC…

Morales started the Facebook Group “UN MILLON DE VOCES CONTRA LAS FARC” on the 4th of January 2008 – it now has 265,833 members.  While  the low barrier to participation in joining a Facebook group may call into question the power such action truly holds, today’s march proves that in some cases, a click of the mouse may be the first step in becoming truly politically engaged.  The protest also depicts just how powerful a tool social networking sites such as Facebook can be in organizing political action.

Also of note is language of choice – as Facebook users go global, how do languages play out?  Currently, one must have some knowledge of English to sign up and work the features of the site – limiting the international user base to more educated segment of society.  Efforts are underway to make Facebook available in other languages: acknowledging the power of the crowd, Facebook has turned to their users to translate the site into other languages.

– Miriam Simun

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