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SMS Revolution - Revolution Through SMS in Philippines
First SMS was sent in 1992 and since then, there is no looking back. You must have heard numerous SMS horror stories, this one is a bit different. There has been a case of what I will call a "mini revolution" in Philipines, and SMS (Short Messaging Service) did play a major role in it. Let me narrate the whole story for you.
In 2001, only nine years after the first SMS was sent, the 13th president of Philippines, Joseph Estrada, was undergoing impeachment trial due to corruption charges. He refused to resign and when crucial evidence against him was presented, majority of the senators voted to have it blocked for the examination.
This was the moment when Filipinos were infuriated and they started gathering at the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). EDSA is a highway that connects five cities of Metro Manila. And due to this protest Joseph Estrada did step down. So you know what gathered enough people at EDSA for Estrada to resign and that too in such short time? It was text messages sent that day mainly by students and political activists. A popular message that day was: "Go to EDSA. Wear Black".
There is another well known instance where SMS played an important role in politics of a country. On this occasion it was Spain where elections were underway in 2004 and political demonstrations were not allowed during 24 hours preceding voting. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party used text messaging in an appropriate manner in these 24 hours to secure their win in the elections. The turnout of voters on election day exceeded 77% which was over 8% higher than the previous elections.
These were just two examples of what text messages campaigns can do for you if done right. There are many other such stories in various fields of life which I might share some other day.