internet The 8 Bloodiest Social Media Battles  

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In light of the latest Digg Revolt that caused thousands of Diggers to vote up various stories from rival site Reddit.com, covering the front page of Digg in their biggest competitor's links in order to protest Digg's user experience, here are the most passionate battles that have been fought about, around or using social media in recent memory. From using social media to expose tens of thousands of government secrets, to supporting a huge site's competitor, to preserving democracy via Tweets, to solving the problem of weight-profiling for one airline customer (items listed in no particular order).
Wikileaks vs. The U.S. Governm... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 8 Bloodiest Social Media Battles
Photo:  uploaded by Robert Wabash
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Wikileaks vs. The U.S. Government


THE ISSUE:
WikiLeaks, an international organization of anonymous submissions and leaks of important international documents, staying true to their name, leaked 90,000 (U.S.) government documents named "The War Logs," pulling the biggest leak in intelligence history. The US military documents revealed secrets of the US war in Afghanistan hidden from the public, including plans of US operations, threat reports from intelligence sources, descriptions of meeting between politicians, detailed descriptions of raids carried by US special operations, "Task Force 373" units to "kill or capture" Taliban leaders and more (we've probably already said enough).

The reports also reveal unreported civilian killings, including children, also by special forces in covert operations.

The documents were made public in The New York Times, Guardian and the German weekly Der Spiegel (everyone's favorite German newspaper).

For the reading impaired and comedy-inclined, here's a clip of Jon Stewart describing and lampooning the scandal at great length.

THE BATTLE:
The White House denounced the documents and claimed that WikiLeaks put the lives of Americans, Afghan informants and US troops at risk by, you know, showing them ALL OUR CARDS... or at least enough of the deck for it to make a difference.

The Pentagon and the Defense Department have issued a demand for the return of the documents in WikiLeaks’s possession and to cancel any plans to further publish classified documents, asking them to "do the right thing."

WikiLeaks did not immediately respond to the Pentagon’s demand, calling press secretary Goeff Morrell "obnoxious" on Twitter.

WikiLeaks founder, sticking to his guns (and to his many, many documents about guns) reported to the New York Times that an additional 15,000 documents will soon be revealed.

In comparison to the Pentagon Papers, the leak of "The War Logs" is unmatched due to the greater volume and due to the advancement of the internet, where the public can access and comment on it at any point.
Wendy's vs. Burger King is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 8 Bloodiest Social Media Battles
Photo:  uploaded by Robert Wabash
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Wendy's vs. Burger King


THE ISSUE:
Wendy's "4 for $4" meal might sound familiar to frequent fast food eaters. Especially since the deal (which includes chicken nuggets, a junior bacon cheeseburger, fries, and a drink) is eerily similar to Burger King's "5 for $4" meal (which adds a cookie to the value pack). So when Wendy's started touting their new deal on social media, it made sense for Burger King to call them out.

THE BATTLE:
Burger King started by tweeting a picture of their own deal with the caption, "5 for $4, because 5 is better than 4." But the real blood was drawn with Wendy's struck back with the ultimate burn. When a customer asked how they would respond, Wendy's said simply, "edible food."
 
Fark/A College Student vs. Gle... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 8 Bloodiest Social Media Battles
Photo:  uploaded by Robert Wabash
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Fark/A College Student vs. Glenn Beck


THE ISSUE:
A "nasty" meme suggesting that Glen Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990 first appeared in a thread on Fark.com seen here .

People in the thread will ask some variant of the question "Did Glenn Beck Murder and rape a Young Girl in 1990?", not answer it, and insist that Beck "prove that he didn’t," mimicking what they claim to be Beck’s own argumentative style.

It was really a point that was made by Gilbert Godfried during the Bob Saget roast on Comedy Central ( click here for clip ), that if you repeat anything loudly enough, people will remember it.

This is essentially what Fark was accusing Beck of doing on his show to people with dissenting, liberal opinions on a daily basis on his show "Glenn Beck".

Four days after the Fark thread appeared, the Internet was so swamped with accusations that "Glenn Beck murder" and "Glenn Beck rapist" became the top search suggestions on Google.

THE BATTLE:
In September 2009, Isaac Eiland-Hall , a college student from Florida, created the website, didglennbeckrapeandmurderayounggirlin1990.com, as a parody of Beck’s style and commentary. It received over 120,000 page loads within its first 24 hours.

A few days after the launch of the site, Beck’s lawyers contacted the host to shut down the site for its defamatory domain name. Unsuccessful, Beck’s legal team went to the World Intellectual Property Organization, a UN agency in Switzerland, to negotiate, but was ruled against.

The hoax then spread all over YouTube, claiming to be "Glenn Beck’s Admissions," but are really just random sound bites from his show.
Twitter vs. The Iranian Govern... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 8 Bloodiest Social Media Battles
Photo:  uploaded by Robert Wabash
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Twitter vs. The Iranian Government


THE ISSUE:
One of Twitter's many functions has always been to be a political platform on which to spread news and advocate policies, like what flavor yogurt you're eating, how many times a week you visit the nearest Asian restaurant, or to complain about people in line in front of you in any government office.

However, Twitter has never before reached such a political height as during the Iran protests of the Iranian presidential elections. After the 2009 election in Iran, supporters of opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi turned to Twitter to make their protests heard in a way that could not be heard on their own soil.

THE BATTLE:
On June 13, when protests were beginning to escalate, the Iranian government decided to move in on the Twitterers and suppress them -- but that wasn't happening.

The Twitterverse exploded with tweets in both English and Farsi countering their actions. In a country where newspapers were whited out with censors, Twitter was really the only source of untampered information people could trust.

Even more, it was coming from the usually muted street level, in real time. This was a real mass-movement protest. Even then, though, there were rumors of the Iranian government interceding with the Twitter traffic, and even using it to monitor and track Twitter users down.

Still, no matter how totalitarian the Iranian government could be, with Twitter around, their tyranny would no longer only rule one way; and everyone in the land would know exactly what everyone thought at any time of day no matter how mundane and no matter how controversial.