News & Investigation Occupy Everything

Published on August 26th, 2013 | by Jason Louv

115

Watch a Jaw-Dropping Visualization of Every Protest Since 1979

250 million protests worldwide, from 1979-2013, visualized in one time-lapse image

Penn State doctoral candidate John Beieler has created a time-lapse visualization of every protest on the planet since 1979. And it is jaw-dropping, and I mean that in a real way, not in a BS blogger-overhyping-this-incredible-amazing-thing way. No, this is truly amazing, because what you’ll see is tiny blips popping off here and there in the 1970s—a time we think of as highly politically charged—and nearly eclipsing the world starting with the late 90s anti-globalization protests and the second Iraq War up till our present moment.

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I would love to see this overlaid with time-lapse visualizations of other factors: global warming, globalization, wars, food shortage, and the spread of the Internet.

Also fruitful: Comparing this data with media coverage and treatment of protest. Why is it easy to think of the 1960s and 70s as a time of dissent and our time as a more ordered, controlled and conformist period when the data so clearly shows that there is no comparison in how much protest there is now compared to then? Media distortion much?

Via Foreign Policy:

This is what data from a world in turmoil looks like. The Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT) tracks news reports and codes them for 58 fields, from where an incident took place to what sort of event it was (these maps look at protests, violence, and changes in military and police posture) to ethnic and religious affiliations, among other categories. The dataset has recorded nearly 250 million events since 1979, according to its website, and is updated daily…

The map also shows some of the limits of Big Data — and trying to reduce major global events to coded variables. Take, for example, the protests across the United States in late 2011: Some are Occupy protests, others are Tea Party protests, but the difference in the political identity of those demonstrations isn’t reflected in the map. There are some strange things that happen when the data are mapped, as well. A cursory glance at the map would suggest that Kansas is the most restive state in the union, but really the frequent protests popping up somewhere near Wichita are every media mention of a protest in the United States that doesn’t specify a city (the same goes for that flickering dot north of Mongolia in Middle-of-Nowhere, Russia).

(After this, compare this equally incredible satellite composite of climate change since 1984.)

(Thanks to @NoahShachtman and R. U. Sirius)

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About the Author

is the author of Queen Valentine and editor of Thee Psychick Bible, Ultraculture Journal and Generation Hex. He currently lives in Los Angeles.




  • Alf Thomson

    Jaw Dropping….My jaw didn’t move.

    • Christopher Davies

      never mind, go back to sleep

  • Fiona NoEnbridge Bowie

    this is fantastic work, thank you John. I just wanted to draw your attention to the important movement in Vancouver BC in the 1980’s: the anti-nuclear protests in Vancouver BC and other cities. In Vancouver, there were turnouts of 150,000 in a city at the time that just topped one million. These protests in Vancouver led to the City of Vancouver declaring the City and it’s surrounding waters as a Nuclear Free Zone that persists to the present. This means that nuclear powered ships, armed war ships can’t enter the local waters. A huge accomplishment and well worth being part of your wonderful video John Beieler. Thanks for doing this work.

  • Juan Necochea

    i think you’re missing quite a few in latin america… think about chile… from 1973 till the nineties there was a dictatorship…
    never once was there a protest?

    • OldManMtn

      something must be off with the data, as there are a few showing up at the north pole as well, if you zoom all the way out.

    • Nico

      I noticed too, for Argentina in particular, and in the years leading up to the crisis 1996 (first massive layoffs and start of the piquetero movement) until 2001.

  • OldManMtn

    although the spread of the internet may coincide with some increase in activity in the 90’s, it does NOT explain the EXPLOSION in protests appearing in 2005, as this compilation appears to illustrate, and growing in intensity to present.

    And why bring up “global warming”? Seriously?

    • Voz

      I would imagine that the explosion in 2005 is connected to the internet and the launch of services such as google earth and maps, although that doesn’t increase protests, it may well have made it easier for people to map them, and the data about more recent protests is certainly easier to find. I think that perhaps this map shows not so much the increase in the number of protests (although that may well be true), but rather shows the increase in documentation of protests in more recent years

    • mememememe

      this map doesn’t include most protests from my country, and it does not include any from my city. they were quite frequent in the 1970s and 1980s but they were only covered in the local media. the internet increased coverage across the board, so this map reflects international awareness and NOT the number of protests by any stretch of the imagination.

    • hbruno

      Hey, when was YouTube started? Facebook? Twitter? When did we get start getting raw footage on the internet of almost every little world event because cheap cell phones with cameras are prolific? And you may recall the substantial role social media played in e.g. the Arab Spring movements of 2011, but obviously would have been used for coordination years before the mainstream media picked up on them and started using them as valid sources. It was certainly important to the Occupy movement.

  • Dan

    hmm, this can´t be right, don´t see any protests in China, betwen 2006 and 2010 it went up tp 180 000 protests every year.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/02/rising-protests-in-china/100247/

  • Oop

    As a native, I’m quite sure that most data about Baltic states from 1987-92 is missing here. If this part of the world is covered so poorly, most likely the rest of the data is sloppy as well. And if such a visualisation is made on the basis of a crappy database, it makes the whole thing pretty but meaningless. It’s a pity that many good ideas are ruined by poor execution.

    • mememememe

      yeah, my region of Canada was not represented at all, but there have been many frequent protests in my city for the last 40 years. it makes me highly skeptical

      • whitenoise

        The article clearly states that they choose a central geographic point of a country when the location within a country is unspecified.

        • mememememe

          that definitely explains the supposed spate of protests in an unpopulated region of Canada in the oughts – they probably chose a spot to represent them. so few of the protests are represented at all, unfortunately

        • pan

          they showed a bunch of blips smack dab where i’m from in indianapolis,
          indiana, and i automatically figured those blips represented protests in this area of the country and not my city specifically, since we very rarely have large demonstrations here.

        • blabla

          In the Basque Country the weekly protests during 80s and 90s were always in the news, at least in basque tv and newspapers. Yet there is barely any evidence of these thousands of protests in this timelapse. So i dont know which reports they are following.. it is hard to track down the reports of every newspaper/tv station from 20 or 30 years ago, i understand that. But the point is that this is not representative of what was reported, much less of reality as many of the smaller protests didn’t get any sort of news coverage.

    • Temporal

      On the map, there was a short flash in Baltic states, reflecting the main (and the only for Lithuania) protest in the early 90’s. Were other protest actions strong enough to bring the international attention to the Baltic and to bring real changes? The reality is, protest traditions are too weak at least here in Lithuania, and a number of local protest actions did not bring citizens together.

    • SeanSu

      It helps to read the article: it’s constantly being updated. This means it’s an open database, you’re supposed to get the data and submit it. There are plenty missing elsewhere as well. The reason New York City is in a state of perpetual protest is because there is very very good records on the number of protests there.

      • Jonathan B

        Which is entirely reasonable to have a publicly updated database, but does make the premise of this article regarding the number of protests escalating in recent decades entirely unreliable. While it may or may not be true, the graphic itself only demonstrates that the compilers had more information on recent protests than past ones in their chosen sources.

    • antonio cristovao

      We must do our part of the job.

    • blabla

      Same, i grew up in the Basque Country and i remember weekly protests in my small town alone all through the 80s and 90s, with really huge prostests in big citys what seemed like every month. I zoomed into the area in the map and i think i counted 3 tiny blips in the entire 3 decades!

  • Voz

    This is impressive indeed, although i supect many are missing, as this is only protest that have been noted by the mainstream, or western media. I am developing a project at the moment that will enable the mapping of protests as they happen, by the people in them, along with visualizations of other factors: global warming, globalization, wars, food shortage, and the spread of the Internet, just as you suggest. we are located at http://www.1voz.org and should be up and running at the beginning of October, get in touch if you want some more information

    Doug

    • Ruth

      Mainstream Western media definitely covered the NZ anti-Springbok tour protests – it was well covered in Britain and even America. Perhaps the author was not yet born so has no memory of nationwide protests that pitted family member against family member. Google the subject now and you will find images of riot police pitted against civilians in motorcycle helmets. Emma as above has given you some good information and you have written it off as not noticed by other media – well here’s your chance to not disseminate stereotypes about the rest of the world.

    • Bill Everett

      Doug — liked FB page. This should improve coverage, although I suspect that many local changes and events will still “fly below the radar.”

      http://thefrogthatjumpedout.blogspot.ru/2013/05/wagon-trains-and-white-water-rafting.html

  • Tad Suiter

    Is it actually accurate that the area just Northeast of Wichita has been in continuous protest for over 30 years? Is that a error in the data, or is it just a hotbed of dissent I wasn’t aware of?

    • PretenderNx01

      I was surprised by that too, this constant little dot in the middle of America. I’d be fascinated to find out what they’ve protested over the years.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Konopelli Woody NinetyNiner Konopak

        That part of Murka is home to the epicenter of anti-abortion activity in the USofA, Wichita KS. Also, Westboro Baptist is near-by, in Topeka.

      • whitenoise

        when the reports just says USA and no other information, it places a dot in the geographic center.

    • Ɠ⊙иƶǾдҡĿдиɗ

      It’s the geographic center of the US. Lebanon, Kansas. Clearly some of the protest data just said “USA” in the location field, and professor smarty pants couldn’t be bothered to improve the database before creating this light show.

    • Marguerite Reed

      Why yes, it is actually accurate. I’ve lived in Wichita all my life, and people have protested my former workplace almost daily.

      • JK

        Did you work in Dr. Tiller’s clinic? I know Wichita is heavily targeted by OSA.

    • DougI

      Wichita is home to a few anti-choice terrorist groups that constantly harass the good people of Wichita. Even after they assassinated Dr. Tiller the protests continue with the complete sanction of the pro-terrorism Republican party.

      • Cindy Strickland

        This is a vibrant, fertile area for neo-conservative, free market principles, and pro-choice/religious protests. This area has cultivated and led the Libertarian fantasy land; consequently, resulting, on the whole, much of poverty the state has induced. It still has pockets of industry here and there ( Boeing, tech, and cattle) But otherwise, a decidely impoverished state.

        • DougI

          Kansas was more of a purple state until Clinton sold out Labor and weakened the unions by passing NAFTA. Since then conservatives have had a field day.

      • mapczar

        So a dot for a handful of anti-abortion people is the same size as massive protests in WDC, Europe and other places? Sorry I am not convinced that this thing has any real value.

  • Matt Woodling

    I don’t think of the 1980s and early ’90s as a period of much protest – it was a period of great retreat from protest in general. So, if the graphic included the period from maybe 1964 on, this would be obvious. So, this story distorts a great deal.

    • Adam White

      love the Eurocentric baby-boom comment. I was knee deep in the protest movement it in the late 80’s and 90’s.

  • Emma

    Interesting enough but worryingly myopic for a PhD project that purports to be global in its scope and comprehensive in its coverage. So, nothing going on in New Zealand until the late 1990s?! And barely anything in Australia?! Erm, heard of the widespread springbok (SA rugby) tour anti-apartheid protests of 1981? And a decade earlier, Mururoa and other anti nuclear protests? Not to mention large protests against nuclear powered ships USS Truxtun and the USS Long Beach and nuclear submarines USS Pintado and USS Haddo entering NZ waters? And then there’s the entire proud history of indigenous rights movements in the region, which gathered pace from at least the early 1970s – e.g. the Aboriginal tent embassy in Australia, or the extraordinarily influential Maori protest movement, both using protest forms (marches, sit-ins, walk-offs and so on).

    • vickytnz

      Yeah, I was surprised to scroll to 1981 and … nothing. Just because we weren’t striking miners doesn’t mean we weren’t protesting!

  • Ben Yee

    New Zealand has had protests several dacades now but none showed on this. The largest were through the 1970’s including the Springbok rugby tour.

  • jeff4justice

    Why does it appear that Kansas is always having a protest? What’s going on there?

    • DougI

      Anti-choice terrorist groups like Operation Rescue constantly harassing, murdering, assaulting people for providing health care to women.

      • jeff4justice

        Thanks for the insight.

  • Ɠ⊙иƶǾдҡĿдиɗ

    This is what happens when somebody finds one data set and plugs it into a map and then declares that they’ve done something special and conclusive.

    What you get is a pretty picture that excites people but conveys relatively useless information.

    My guess is that this is compiled from news stories, and as such, likely from news stories that have been digitized and made searchable. That means that where they happened and when that region joined the database is a factor.

    There are also obvious oversimplifications: There are dots that flash repeatedly in the middle of Kansas. Why? Probably because it’s the geographic center of the United States, and certain articles on protests were archived with the location listed as “US”. There’s a similar dot in the geographic center of California. Look for them.

    All this to say: If a researcher finds one data set, doesn’t vet it, doesn’t add to it, doesn’t attempt to compile multiple data sets, but still goes ahead and makes a data visualization and touts it as something special, they’re really just blowing smoke up your ass.

    • Thomas Funfsinn

      I was wondering the same thing about Kansas. Initially I was like “wtf is there to protest in Kansas except the fact you life in Kansas”. Then upon zooming in I realized it was Wichita. And I realized that’s where the Koch Industries HQ is located. Go figure. Damn they’re persistent about it.

      • Ɠ⊙иƶǾдҡĿдиɗ

        It isn’t Wichita. it’s Lebanon, KS, the geographic center of the US.

        The data set they used is lousy. Apparently, some protests just show up as “USA”, and that’s why theres a dot there. Same with the geographic center of California. There’s also a dot that keeps lighting up at the north pole.

        Lesson: grabbing someone else’s data set, or using an automated process to make your own = bad data = meaningless data visualization.

      • mapczar

        It is in fact where the Koch Industries is located but having lived there for year I can promise that there are no ongoing protests. If fact, Wichita is a bastion of right wing Bible thumpers.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    The 60s/70s is thought of as a time of dissent because they’re compared with the 50s.

  • Gowhar Fazili

    Too many protests and mass movements in Kashmir through 1980’s and 1990’s are totally missing which makes me seriously doubt the details presented in the whole map.

  • chellspecker

    So we’re in agreement that this isn’t very interesting? I’m tired of these meaningless abstractions touted as life-changing. Every time a person stands up for something they believe in is a protest. Why is my call this afternoon to Apple tech support not on this map? Good grief, people. Is your capacity for mindless piety limitless? My jaw will drop when I’m dead. I was taught to breathe with my mouth closed.

  • JdB

    It looks really impressive, but I guess taking in account the comments and the fact that I mentioned a clear focus on the US and West-Europe (which will be documented better in English maybe) I don’t buy this at all. I’m sorry to say but I guess if this is scientific data, than I don’t want to know what kind of stuff is produced in these universities.

    • whitenoise

      seriously. remind me not to take any classes with this joker’s supervisor

  • arthur

    This shows us in a visual diagram that there are more protest’s now than in the last 30 years. But yes it is still totally inaccurate. London did not flash once but the Yorkshire moors flashed continuously. I think the other commenters are being a bit picky as the map is not detailed enough to show towns. There is a similar example showing nuclear tests and they all happen in the middle of no-where so perhaps that is what the protests are about.

    • arthur

      OK so if you zoom in then London is flashing continuously.

  • whitenoise

    cool visualizations. It’s important to remember that this is a map of *reporting* of protests and dissent, which is going to be different than a map of protest and dissent. The constant increase may be more due to an increase in reporting due to the explosion of media and computerized data gathering than an increase in protest. A bit misleading…

    Also, the commentary asks “Why is it easy to think of the 1960s and 70s as a time of dissent and our time as a more ordered, controlled and conformist period when the data so clearly shows that there is no comparison in how much protest there is now compared to then?” um… the data starts in 1979.

  • whitenoise

    This is a map of the increase in news reporting globally. They should change the headline.

  • Tina Winniec

    Don’t you get it?? What it really shows is that protests do not change anything much at all. listen to what this guy has made of it all. It also is irrelevant if this guy has missed stuff here and there….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUpe0cr-R-U

    • Clay Gold

      How does this prove that protests “do not change anything much”?

    • Clay Gold

      What the guy in the video says is irrelevant and actually wrong. Sounds like stoner philosophy.

  • Mark A. Covert

    One of the most effective protest movements has been completely overlooked on this project.They missed all the People Power protests in the Philippines during the 80’s.
    This movement, for the most part was non-violent and resulted in the unassing of a well entrenched dictator.

  • Dimitri

    This is awesome, but why is San Francisco cut off? SF is the most protesting city in the U.S.!

    • sentpacking

      If you use the little navigation on the left, you can broaden the scope of the map to include the western US. Don’t bother though, it doesn’t seem to include any of the protests that we took part in in the 80’s or early 90’s, and there were quite a few… No blip for the White Night Riots, for example.

      • Miriam Hamsa

        I did move the map. It showed 2 protests in the Bay Area in a period of 15 years. Pathetic, really.

  • Nexus Brill

    Interesting, far from “jaw-dropping”…yet another misleading description.

  • jjca

    Free Europe!!!

  • Muhammed Burhan al-Din

    Wow!

  • Make

    Greetings from Finland. Have to agree with other comments. Sloppy data. For example Finland was bearly represented at all, however there has been numerous demonstrations and protests going on since the 60s in activist circles and before that mostly worker struggels. I could see less than 10 beeps for Finland. There has surley been more than 50 protests only this year.

  • Guest 2

    I´m atonished of the apparent calm of América del Sur in this video. It really needs either to omit the phrase “every protest´”, or to add the phrase “every protest in Western Europe and North America” or to do more research on the South and East corners of the world. What kind of press are you using to do your video? Is it. perhaps, only anglophone media? If you are also checking Spanish-speaking media (non European), which archives are not all uploaded on the internet, that might be something that is causing the apparent calm of, for instance, Colombia, among oher South American countries.

  • Clay Gold

    The human population of the earth has doubled over this time period, which explains something. We are more political. News travels faster. Everything to do with human communication has rapidly increased over this period, and it should come as no surprise that people protest their circumstances much more. There is much more to complain about.

  • Adam

    “Why is it easy to think of the 1960s and 70s as a time of dissent and our time as a more ordered, controlled and conformist period when the data so clearly shows that there is no comparison in how much protest there is now compared to then? Media distortion much?”

    Actually, what is media distortion is making a completely unsubstantiated claim about the comparison between protests nowadays and those of the 60s and 70s when the data you are referring to BEGINS IN 1979.

  • AnonyÓðinn

    Now, extrapolate this 10 years forward.

  • Christian Dre

    Wake The @#$% UP! Peace Dre*Ski

  • hbruno

    I would expect increased protests in recent years due to worldwide economic turmoil, but let’s face it, most of the world was extremely poor, and they’re still extremely poor. So, not much change. I still suspect this map reflects the simultaneous explosive growth of information and its ease of access, not only frequency and scope of protests, as it’s being presented.

  • AdamRamsay

    I’m afraid I can also think off the top of my head of protests missed here (primarily in Scotland, though also elsewhere). Looks like bad data to me.

  • Rabbi Ruth Adar

    The writer’s comment about the 60’s and 70’s doesn’t apply. This display begins in 1979. That said, the trend is astonishing.

  • guest3

    If anyone can tell me what is going on in that second area of Japan
    (the one to the west of Tokyo that appears to be in Nagano) I’d be
    really interested. I can find 2008 Free Tibet Olympic protests, but the
    blobs are sustained over a large time period.Thanks

  • Ross Wolfe

    The real question this study should pose is whether or not an increase in the intensity and magnitude of protest movements corresponds to increased political agency on the part of the Left.

    Here’s a hint: it doesn’t.

    And no, the fact that hyperactivist protest culture has not translated into real and effective political opposition is not simply attributable to “media distortion” or anything of the kind. Is the implication that everything would be different if only news outlets covered more marches and placard-waving protests?

  • tommymiles

    Um, in looking at my area of knowledge (West Africa) this fails quite remarkably, I’m sorry to say. Things start appearing regularly there in the late 90s. But the mass student protests in Bamako in the early 80s don’t rate a blip. In the 1991 revolution (lotsa protests before and after) Bamako gets 1 blip, while the equally dramatic events in Niamey and the rest of neighbor Niger get nothing.

    So what happens in the late 90s? Internet reporting. So suddenly, across West Africa, things light up like a Christmas tree. This is a major flaw. It suggests the 00’s were a time of increased protest in these nations, when in fact the early-mid 90s saw much more popular protest.

    I fear this is replicated elsewhere. If so, it renders the conclusion that the world is getting more activist entirely unsupported by this evidence.

  • http://kimhunter.ca/ kim hunter

    Vancouver BC had some very large protests. In the late 60- early 70s they managed to ban nuclear power. In the 90s, Clayquotte clear-cutting and now it is 811-Oil-Spill-Enbridge.

  • JarFil

    In Bilbao, Spain, there have been about a couple protests EVERY WEEK for the last 30 years.

    This map is extremely incomplete, useless and manipulative of the reality around the world.

  • Alexander Lotorto

    There were hundreds of anti-nuke protests in the 80s not reflected here, especially in Pennsylvania where this study is reportedly from. We’ve had dozens of anti-fracking protests throughout the state that have received coverage as well since 2010…campuses regularly have demonstrations…this isn’t a share-worthy post.

  • Tom Swiss

    Poor reporting here. Click through to the foreignpolicy.com story — which you even link to! — and you’ll see this: “Kalev Leetaru, the Yahoo! fellow at Georgetown University working on the GDELT project, told FP
    by email that the apparent uptick in protests around the world starting
    in the mid-1990s may be misleading. “In some other work we are doing
    right now, preliminary results suggest that as a percentage of all
    events captured in GDELT, protests have not become more common overall,”
    he explained. “So, the majority of that increase in protest events over
    time stems from the increase in available digital media,” especially
    news”

    Bad blogger for implying that protests are getting more common when your original story clearly says otherwise.

  • Michael Riffle

    Only recently have we been able to automatically record an event like a protest in a reliable data driven method due to almost all media being made in a digital format. Only as we approach our current time, does it go “willy-nilly”. I think the large escalation in this is only partly noticed due to this factor. In the 60s there were tons of protests. In the great depression there was protests. In the great recession the were/are protests. I actually believe the truth is that society as a whole (though vastly diverse) is separated by drastic differences from their leaders, with little regard for their parties. I also believe this is primarily for 2 reason. Each both good and bad (subjectively of course). first, our leaders are the ones who are actually trying to do the job. We don’t know the job. We/they tend to generalize things not understood by most people by “dumbing them down” (phrase – means: to stupefy). The second thing is that by “dumbing down” these problems/solutions/jobs, we get an inferior representative from our own people. This causes foolish generalization to be made by them and I think everyone can ad least agree regardless of whether you dislike/like Bush or Obama, this has been done somewhere between these two leaders (but not only). We need to get rid of the biases we currently have and go back to the basics and start trying to see where these systems have veered off coarse (operate in the actual – not ideal). The answers will seem much more clear when we do this. Simplifying the process in which we generalize will not. Most times simplifying complexities causes loss (reduction in benefit, increase in negative aspects). In short, our leaders need to listen to what we need, not what we want, and our leaders have to stop generalizing and become better communicators. This “Job” has always been to represent our people, not to screw us over.

  • vickytnz

    Is this weighted towards populous nations? NZ had widespread protests throughout the 80s (particularly the 81 Springbok tour) yet nothing, perhaps as its population was only 3m at that point?

  • Nemesister

    A lot of spanish protests are missing here… well, more than a lot I would say that MOST of them!

  • Julia Holcomb

    What were his sources?

    • r3verend

      As mentioned in the article the source was “The Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT)”.

  • carmiturchick

    I participated in many many protests in Tucson, Phoenix, Minneapolis, at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site, in New York City…many of them covered extensively in the media, often on the front page, with hundreds arrested in Nevada, multiple arrests at a number of other protests, and they do not, any of them, show up on this. This data is pure crap. I have the newspaper clippings to prove it.

  • Daniel Hunter

    For something that’s a little more honest and rigorous in its approach (also more humble), check out the Global Nonviolent Action Database (http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu)

  • Keith

    Might want to overlay it with population growth

    • r3verend

      That really doesn’t work. Its from the 70s up to now. Not from the beginning of the 19th. century.

      • Keith

        During which time the world’s population has almost doubled.

  • Mahmoud

    i am just enjoying the difference between before and after jan2010, feeling proud to be Egyptian :) let’s put the whole planet on fire all of us

  • JR

    The number of protests in Argentina is grossly underrepresented…

  • Miriam Hamsa

    Right. In 15 years, a total of 2 protests in San Francisco and Berkeley???? Sure.

  • Arizona Eagletarian

    I would think the consolidation of ownership of mass media is likely a HUGE factor, in answer to the questions the author raises in the last paragraph of the story.

  • http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/trotsky-assassinated-in-mexico TrotskysMexicanSurprise

    The Google Map visualization is provided as more of a entertaining spectacle, than a real depiction of world world protest during this timeframe.

    As any will notice, towards the end the protest are shockingly frequent where by creating the “omg whoa!” effect in the average readers mind.

    Well, the answer to this is simple. Due to the recent popularity and implementation of social media, the amount of every day data being collected is far greater than it was 20-30 years ago. So of course it will seem like there are FAR more protest occurring today than in the past.

    Regardless of the inaccurate scientific framework in which this article was made. It still pulls in the web traffic where by monetary earnings can be made off Ad placement.

    You kids have a nice day now.

  • oozabooza

    Why so many protests in the middle of Kansas? they were almost constant through the whole thing!

  • Frank Eggleston

    I think it’s just people realizing they CAN protest, and it brings about change, so they happen much more frequently over time. Well, that, and more strife worldwide.

  • Georges_Kanoute

    “every protest on the planet”? Not even close. I’ve personally been to dozens of protests every year for the past ten years in my city and yet it only starts appearing on the map in 2012. How did they define these protests? Where did they get the data?

  • Gladys Tiffany

    I love it that nobody’s complaining that there are too many protests on here.

  • lancesackless

    So many whiny crybabies in the last decade.

  • mapczar

    Something bothers me about this. I used to live in wichita Ks and there is a near constant blip on top of that city. There are no major protests going on anywhere near that place so what is it trying to show. I am skeptical and would require much more evidence before I am “amazed.”

  • Mia

    Awakenings I call it.

  • Robyn Wood

    Nice to know Australia and the Pacific region don’t even exist!

  • hereatpsu

    Umm. No, it is NOT jaw dropping, just a bunch of blips going on and off, possibly causing eye fatigue. Sorry to poop on this artificial attempt to make things viral.

  • Richard Kives

    Really?

  • Richard Kives

    This is most certainly a small fraction of protests in major cities only.

  • blabla

    “a time-lapse visualization of every protest on the planet since 1979″ As someone who lived in the Baque Country through the 80s and 90s I can tell you that there was weekly, sometimes daily, protests in countless towns throughout both decades. With a hugh protest every month or so in a big city.
    I zoomed into the area and saw 3 or 4 tiny spots light up in the entire three decades… what can i say… after reading through the comments and seeing how many other people have said similar things.. this is certainly NOT every protest in the planet. Your “this is not a BS blogger thing” comment seems like it deserves amending. Call it what it is: bullshit.

    Also the assumption that there are more demonstrations now than in the 70s given the tremendous amount of missing data in this thing could be completely incorrect. I’d be very interested to know what exactly was process of selection of what counts as a protest and what doesn’t.

  • Thorlaug

    Protests in Iceland 2008-1013 heavily underrepresented. Government ‘toppled’ in a pots and pans revolution in January 2009 not even on the map.

  • sparky

    palestine was as far as i can see, the continuous one

  • EcoHustler

    If you REALLY want your jaw to drop, watch Fascism Versus Techno (guess who won?)http://www.ecohustler.co.uk/2014/01/31/fascism-versus-techno-guess-won/

  • Anne Singh

    Same goes for Germany. People opposed nuclear power and warfare for 40 years – none of this is shown. There’s a couple of more blinks in 86 around Chernobyl and 89 in East Germany….. :-(

  • Ben Jackson

    New Zealand? Australia? That map ain’t the world

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