South Sudan- now on Google Maps!

MEST, Friday October 7th 2011

In the olden days, when nation states ruled the world, international recognition by governments was the key to gaining legitimacy for a newly formed country. Now, activists turn to multinational private companies to gain further recognition.

[caption id="attachment_1028" align="alignleft" width="236"] Image Credit: John T. Mabusu[/caption]

Journalist John Tanza Mabusu of Southern Sudan, the world’s newest country, recently launched an online campaign directed at Google, urging the company to include South Sudan’s borders on their maps.

"The inclusion of South Sudan will give the people of that new nation pride and a sense of belonging, as citizens of a sovereign nation on the map." said Mabusu in an interview with BBC a couple of weeks ago.

The campaign on, which has gained over 1700 signatures, provoked Google to update its maps.

[caption id="attachment_1027" align="alignright" width="296"] Image Credit: Google[/caption]

Is this an example of net activism at its best? Democratizing lobbyism? Achieving results? Or is it a scary development, where activists increasingly have to influence major private companies instead of only policy makers and multinational organizations. Could that even be a good thing? You judge….