White House Admits Creating 'Cuban Twitter' To Cause Unrest
The White House admitted being involved with ZunZuneo, a social media site in Cuba, but said it wasn't a covert operation.By Matt Moreno | April 3, 2014
Social media is usually an outlet to discuss your favorite TV shows, gossip about celebrities and more fun things. However, United States officials admit having a hand in a social media project aimed at causing unrest in Cuba.
"The U.S. Agency for International Development funded what's known as 'Cuban Twitter' to organize political demonstrations against the communist government ... The network had tens of thousands of subscribers." (Via Time Warner Cable)
Its actual name is ZunZuneo and the project reportedly lasted three years — 2009 through 2012. Cubans using the software supposedly didn't know it was developed by the U.S. government. (Via USA Today)
"It's described as being very similar to twitter, where users write 140 characters. Messages like soccer were pushed through the platform, but the goal was to exchange messages encouraging dissent." (Via WSVN)
At one point, U.S. officials reportedly tried to recruit Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey to fund ZunZuneo in an attempt to conceal their own involvement in the project. (Via Adweek)
Still, despite headlines like these, claiming it was a secret, covert operation by the U.S., the White House says that's not the case. Press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday ZunZuneo wasn't a malicious operation. (Via The Telegraph, VentureBeat, Voice of America)
"It is neither covert nor an intelligence program."
... "Given that it was roping in Cubans, many unwittingly, is there something unethical..."
"Whoa whoa wait. This is a program that provided a platform for Cuban citizens." (Via BBC)
Cuba's government has yet to respond to these revelations.