As exuberance following the release of journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee from North Korea rules the trending topics on Twitter, I asked Richard Horgan for a statement on his e-activism through @LiberateLaura and the WordPress blog.
He describes a chain of events that truly reached Twitter's sixth degree of separation, and if I knew how to make a Huffington Post jump quote this would be it:
"Biz Stone and Evan Williams' brilliantly simple communication tool is without a doubt the most powerful activism tool to ever hit the Internet." Richard Horgan
Here's the timeline, in his own words:
"It started innocently enough: I recommended - via Twitter - @LauraLing's NARCO WARS @current report to L.A.-based UK The Independent correspondent @guyadams, as he was preparing to cover the Mexican drug war. Laura Ling evidently Twitter-searched her name, found my tweet, and soon we were following each other. This also in fact led Guy to speak to Laura about Mexico literally hours before she left for China, at which point I followed with interest her tweets from overseas.
Twitter played a role once again in my i-activism when, on April 26th, @NYTimesKristof observed that though there was a Twitter page for Roxana Saberi, none existed yet for Laura Ling and Euna Lee. Given my peripheral acquaintance with Laura, great interest in the story and journalistic background, I figured I could effectively jump into this breach.
Biz Stone and Evan Williams' brilliantly simple communication tool is without a doubt the most powerful activism tool to ever hit the Internet. Through it, I was able to keep the story alive with the highest sense of urgency, keep in touch with supporters of all stripes and learn much about the harrowing lives of most North Koreans. Much work is left to be done on the humanitarian front, but I am thrilled that the biggest story of Laura Ling's journalistic career has found its way to a relatively happy ending."
- Richard Horgan