Archives for the category: SMS and SARS
March 8, 2013
Mobile technology has provided the Chinese with an opportunity to voice individual and collective popular protests. And with over 1 billion mobile subscribers in China, the voices are heard. A new PhD thesis from the University of Copenhagen presents several case studies on the use of the mobile phone for political participation in Chinese society and points to the concept of guanxi – an individual's network of social relations and obligations– as central to understanding the success of alternative mobile communication in China.
... As early as in 2003, the mobile phone played a vital role when people shared information about the SARS epidemic that the government tried to suppress.
January 10, 2004
Hong Kong mobile operator Sunday Communications is offering it's subscribers SMS text alerts enabling them to locate infected SARS areas; buildings or neighbourhoods where people are known to be infected with SARS. A service launched initially in April 2003.
Wired reports that "earlier this month, the Hong Kong government sent millions of mobile text messages to residents to debunk a hoax that led many to believe that the city was soon to be formally declared "an infected place," causing mass panic and buying binges throughout the region".
Sounds like 2003 all over again. For more on SMS alerts, rumors and hoaxes that were part of the SARS outbreak last year, check out this category in Textually.org.
June 17, 2003
Sars-related crackdowns continue in Beijing. "By the end of May, 117 people in 17 provinces had been arrested and charged with disturbing social order by spreading Sars-related rumours. [...] With its control slipping, the Government's response has been to combine cutting-edge technology with "low-tech Leninist" repression", according to an article in New Zealand Herald via boingboing. For more on SMS and SRS, check out this category in textually.org
May 28, 2003
A new text alert service dubbed «SARS Contact Tracing SMS», was launched yesterday by StarHub and the Singapore Tourism Board, "as a quick and easy way to trace people in case - touch wood - of another Sars outbreak in Singapore", according to the Straits Times.
By keying in the six-digit postal code of hotels, restaurants and shopping malls (which they display on posters on their premises) and sending it to a designed number, the mobile user's whereabouts will be logged automatically onto the StarHub website.
The data is to be released to the Ministry of Health - and other relevant government bodies - only if they ask for it. Otherwise, data stored is deleted after 14 days.
May 27, 2003
Following the outbreak of the SRS virus and with people avoiding public places, the De Rimba department store in Brunei has launched a new service allowing shoppers to send an SMS to order goods and have them delivered, according to an article in BruneiDirect.com via SMS: Business Gets the Message.
May 17, 2003
According to an interesting article in Asia Media, following the outbreak of SARS, a terse genre of social commentary has evolved to fit the compact new medium of text messagaing. "As well as parodies of popular songs, the SMS repertoire includes irreverent rewrites of communist ideological slogans and literary works by revolutionary leaders, suggesting widespead cynicism about the country's rulers". [Sarsies.gif found on Jeff Jarvis' BuzzMachine]
May 6, 2003
SARS jokes masquerading as news bulletins are flying high in the Philippines by way of the population's most favorite means of communicating, text messaging. Some examples from Channel News Asia:
-- SARS stands for : Salvation that Awaits a Repentant Soul, or Severe Absence of Romance and Sex.
-- Travel promotion package for $99 for vacation spots in the Southeast Asian Resorts and Spa Tour, or SARS tour, for short, (Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam via Hong Kong or Guangdong).
-- The virus can spread through handling of currency from SARS-infected countries.
And surprisingly, a legitimate story:
-- Approval of the urgent Anti-Terror Bill in the Assembly was stalled because its author could not decide whether sneezing while SARS-infected constituted an act of terrorism.
For more on SARS related stories, check out textually's new category SMS and SARS.
May 4, 2003
Laughter is a powerful medicine and to cope with the impact of the disease, SARS jokes have been circulating by SMS among Singaporeans since the outbreak began in March. Such as:
--Doctor's advice: Stay at home, don't drink Sarsi, don't eat at sarabat stalls and don't sar-bo (sabotage) friends.
-- SAR Far So Good: Waitresses from the South Beauty Sichuan Restaurant in Beijing playing a game of catching to keep up their spirits amidst the gloom of Sars.
According to Dr Adrian Wang, a consultant psychiatrist at the Institute of Mental Health, and interviewed by Ong Sor Fern for the Straits Times, 'Humour is often used as a coping mechanism, especially in the early stages of something that devastates us.'
For more on SARS related stories, check out textually's new category SMS and SARS.
April 30, 2003
Authorities have arrested 13 people in southern China for spreading rumours about the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic by text messages, per a posting in Smart Mobs reflecting on an article published in The Australian.
On April 26 alone, some 2.13 million such messages were sent, claiming that SARS cases in China reached 10,000 (each recipient was told to resend the messages to another 10 people).
There is another SARS related posting today in sister blog "picturephoning", entitled Why not camera/video phones for hospitals with "no visitor" rule.
For previous SARS and SMS stories, check out textually's new category SMS and SARS.
April 28, 2003
The police have identified the person who started a chain of false SMS messages about Jurong Point Shopping Centre, claiming a SARS outbreak at the shopping mall. Causing public alarm or fear by perpetuating hoaxes is no laughing matter in Singapore, as Under the Telecommunications Act, anyone found guilty of transmitting false messages can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed for up to 3 years, or both, according to Channel News Asia.
This follows other reports of SMS hoaxes related to SARS which are intended to hurt business: "According to the Association of Banks, there were SMS and email messages alleging there were SARS-infected staff not only at DBS and POSB, but also at Bank of America, HSBC, and UOB" (cf March 28 posting in textually.org).
RafflesHealth, a subsidiary of the Raffles Medical Group in Singapore, develops and markets quality healthcare products to promote personal health including a first aid kit of sorts for SARS containing masks, a thermometer, some vitamin C and alcohol swabs. People living in Singapore can also register for SARS text alerts on their website, according to SARS Info Center.
April 25, 2003
A prankster broke into the SARS Operation Center (Phillipines) texting system and sent thousands of messages from a computer which subsequently blocked incoming messages. The center, which is open 24 hours, has been set up to answer queries on the mysterious atypical pneumonia. The tired doctors were not amused, per abs-cbnnews.com.
April 24, 2003
According to an article in French daily newspaper Libération, SMS rumors on SARS are flying in China, to the dismay of the governement who is at loss to control their outbreak.
«Tomorrow, do not go out onto the streets: SARS infected patients will be moving from one hospital to another and you risk being infected" -- An SMS which spread like wildfire on Tuesday.
April 14, 2003
Hong Kong mobile operator Sunday Communications is offering it's subscribers SMS text alerts enabling them to locate infected SARS areas; buildings or neighbourhoods where people are known to be infected with SARS. cf update in Wired
April 7, 2003
The telecommunications industry is benefiting from the double whammy of the Iraq war and the SARS outbreak, according to an article in the Straits Times, with some telcos experiencing a 10 to 20 per cent increase in SMS traffic sent since the war began.
April 4, 2003
Following reports on rumors sent out by people in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, now it's the governement of Hong Kong who has launched it's own SMS campaign to 6 million mobile phones users, quelling a report that designated Hong Kong as an "infected city". False information about SARS, the penumonia-like illness, prompted panic among residents who thought the territory would be shut down. The hoax was reportedly posted on a website by a 14 year old, according to an article in MNSBC.
April 2, 2003
Following last week's posting on SARS rumours and remedies (the severe acute respiratory syndrom which manifests as a penumonia-like illness) as well as protests on the public health policy sent out by SMS, 3 deaths were reported in Kuala Lumpur over the past three days.
According to Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng, contacted by the Daily Mail and reported in E-Media : "These are false reports. It is totally untrue. The rumour is aimed at creating panic among Malaysians," warning that action could be taken against the rumour-mongers.
March 28, 2003
According to an article in C/Net Asia, Asians are spreading SMS messages related to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which manifest's as a pneumonia-like illness. Most of them are hoaxes, such as: "To curb the spread of SARS, all offices will be closed from Friday April 28 until further notice.--Minister of Health".
But more seriously, financial institutions in Singapore are accusing their competitors of sending out SARS rumours to hurt their business. "According to the Association of Banks, there were SMS and email messages alleging there were SARS-infected staff not only at DBS and POSB, but also at Bank of America, HSBC, and UOB", reports Channel News Asia
Citizens are also protesting the public health policy by SMS, involving the shutting down of pre-schools to junior colleges and are sending SMS messages offering traditional Asian remedies for the deadly virus.