Monitoring the situation in Libya

The wave of popular democratic protests across North Africa and the Middle East is cresting in Libya, a country that has been under the dictatorial rule of Moammar Gadhafi since 1969. Colonel Gadhafi, who took power in a military coup, has been called many things: "mercurial," "eccentric," and, now (if not before), "ruthless." The situation in Libya has the potential to develop into something horrific, as evidence arises that Gadhafi appears willing to use overwhelming military force - including strafing runs by fighter aircraft, and the use of snipers and .50 caliber weapons - to suppress protesters and opposition leaders. Yet optimism persists, with reports of defection by pilots who refuse to attack gathered civilians, the denunciation of Gadhafi by high-level government ministers, and the desertion of army soldiers to the opposition.

As in Egypt and Tunisia, social media and the general technological landscape allow people to both influence and observe events. If you are interested in keeping up with the rapidly evolving situation in Libya, check out a few of these.

Here is a mashup by Arasmus (@arasmus) integrating social media reports with Google maps.

View Mapping Violence Against Pro-Democracy Protests in Libya in a larger map

Watch the Al-Jazeera English channel at LiveStation.

Andy Carvin (@acarvin) of NPR has received praise for his aggregation and dissemination of tweets about the uprisings throughout the region.

Here's what people on Tumblr are posting about Libya, and here's #libya on Twitter.

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