Babylution: Facebook's First 'Hashmob' is Happening in Bosnia - Netokracija CEE

Babylution: Facebook’s First ‘Hashmob’ is Happening in Bosnia

It all started with a Facebook post from a distraught mother in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Her 3-month old baby, Belmina, urgently needed a stem cell transplant abroad. But since the national law on ID numbers had not yet been adopted after the old law's expiration in February, newborns were no longer being issued with the ID numbers required to obtain a passport and health insurance.

bebolucija_1naslovnaIt all started with a Facebook post from a distraught mother in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Her 3-month old baby, Belmina, urgently needed a stem cell transplant abroad. But since the national law on ID numbers had not yet been adopted after the old law’s expiration in February, newborns were no longer being issued with the ID numbers required to obtain a passport and health insurance.

Here was a typically Bosnian predicament. A sick baby. A tattered social safety net. Poor medical infrastructure. And a national parliament bickering for more than two years over the fine print of a law that enables babies to travel abroad for treatment.

Sarajevo (photo: Emina Hodzic)
Protests in Sarajevo: “Revolution is the only solution”. (photo: Emina Hodzic)

Baby Belmina’s story was picked up by local media, prompting a small group of parents to gather in front of Parliament in the nation’s capital, Sarajevo. The following day, around 3,000 protestors joined them, forming a human chain around Parliament and trapping hundreds of politicians inside. Over the next days, thousands more protestors gathered in front of Parliament at midday, and smaller protests began sprouting around the country.

Traditionally, most Bosnian protests end not with a bang but a whimper, because they either:

  1. Are manufactured by opposition political forces whose sole purpose is to discredit those in power, and/or
  2. Fail to unite people of the three main ethnic groups (Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks).

On this occasion, not only were the initial protests sparked by an organic human response to a fundamental injustice, they have mobilised people of all ethnic and political stripes. For the first time in Bosnia’s post-war generation, almost everyone agrees on one thing: the painfully incompetent, willfully corrupt and supremely arrogant political elite must go.

#JMBG (photo: Emina Hodzic)
#JMBG became a hashtag, meme and a rallying cry. (photo: Emina Hodzic)

And so what started as a Facebook post has evolved into “Bebolucija”, Bosnia’s Baby Revolution. The movement  has already spawned a website, several Facebook pages and coverage in the New York Times. The national ID card acronym, #JMBG, is now a hashtag, meme and rallying cry. And as another “numberless” child, baby Berina, died of sepsis last week after a delayed medical evacuation abroad, the movement is reaching tipping point.

Your 15 minutes of Facebook

In a country where Twitter is yet to gain much traction but where 80% of internet users are on Facebook, this month’s launch of Facebook hashtags is both fortuitous for the protestors and ominous for Parliament. Organisers can now reach, engage with and mobilise Bosnia’s huge Facebook community in realtime with a single feed. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Sarajevo will host (photo: Emina Hodzic)
Sarajevo will host a meetup on 30th June, #JMBG hashmob. (photo: Emina Hodzic)

Protestors have given Parliament until 30th June to adopt the law on ID numbers and establish a solidarity fund for citizens in need of medical treatment. Politicians are also being asked to donate 30% of their salaries towards the fund. Even if these demands are met, it’s unlikely to quell the momentum of outrage and calls for change.

On the same day 30th June, Sarajevo will be hosting a meetup as part of world Social Media Day. To support the Baby Revolution, we’re planning the world’s first Facebook hashmob, a 15-minute happening that teaches Bosnia’s well-deserving politicians a lesson in humility. The Arab Spring, the SOPA/PIPA website blackouts and, more recently, the iMarch in the US have shown that bringing a critical mass of protestors online at scheduled times can change the world. So wherever you are in the world, join Bosnia’s #JMBG hashmob here.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Popular

Startups

The Croatian-Slovenian Mercury PSI and the Danish Nets are moving together to digitize payments across Europe

Biometric passports and ID’s, contactless payments and a cashless society: all these ideas come from the danish Nets, and recently they are being developed by local Nets CEE experts.

Tech

How Croatian Q and German medi developed a solution worthy of German Innovation Award

One of the fast-growing European agencies in collaboration with renowned innovator from the health field made a great B2B solution for which they received the German Innovation Award. How it came to be?

Startups

Ivan Klaric’s Sportening raises €3.9 million to create the future of sports media

Sportening is an advanced messaging app with AI-driven content for sports fans, currently in its testing phase focused on the fans of a dozen popular football clubs in Europe.

What you missed

Enterprise

Localization of agritech: Language is just the first out of 6 things to adapt

When entering a new market, regardless of the type of technology, platform or content, software localization is a must. But for digital tools in the agriculture industry it takes on a whole set of new, unexpected dimensions. 

Startups

Ivan Klaric’s Sportening raises €3.9 million to create the future of sports media

Sportening is an advanced messaging app with AI-driven content for sports fans, currently in its testing phase focused on the fans of a dozen popular football clubs in Europe.

Tech

How Croatian Q and German medi developed a solution worthy of German Innovation Award

One of the fast-growing European agencies in collaboration with renowned innovator from the health field made a great B2B solution for which they received the German Innovation Award. How it came to be?

Startups

The Croatian-Slovenian Mercury PSI and the Danish Nets are moving together to digitize payments across Europe

Biometric passports and ID’s, contactless payments and a cashless society: all these ideas come from the danish Nets, and recently they are being developed by local Nets CEE experts.

Startups

Croatian agencies SeekandHit and airt presented Capt’n: „It saves time and money just like top advertising experts!”

Veterans of advertising and co-founders of the leading agencies DRAP and SeekandHit presented their AI platform that optimizes advertising for Facebook and Google networks.

Startups

Croatian fintech startup airt helps banks learn about user’s transactions using AI

This week we had opportunity to cover the announcement of airtAI, a Croatian fintech startup whose solution is based on artificial intelligence and is directed towards smaller banks that want to better assess the needs of their clients. Exclusively for Netrokracija airt’s CEO Hajdi Ćenan reveals the details.