What the Russian Revolution would have looked like on social media | Mikhail Zygar
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What the Russian Revolution would have looked like on social media | Mikhail Zygar

What is history? It is something written by the winners. There is a stereotype that history
should be focused on the rulers, like Lenin or Trotsky. As a result, people
in many countries, like mine, Russia, look at history as something
that was predetermined or determined by the leaders, and common people could not
influence it in any way. Many Russians today do not believe
that Russia could ever have been or ever will be a truly democratic nation, and this is due to the way
history has been framed to the citizens of Russia. And this is not true. To prove it, I spent two years
of my life trying to go 100 years back, to the year 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution. I asked myself, what if the internet
and Facebook existed 100 years ago? So last year, we built
a social network for dead people, named Project1917.com. My team and I created our software, digitized and uploaded
all possible real diaries and letters written by more than 3,000 people 100 years ago. So any user of our website or application can follow a news feed
for each day of 1917 and read what people
like Stravinsky or Trotsky, Lenin or Pavlova
and others thought and felt. We watch all those personalities
being ordinary people like you and me, not demigods, and we see that history consists
of their mistakes, fears, weaknesses, not only their “genius ideas.” Our project was a shock for many Russians, who used to think that our country
has always been an autocratic empire and the ideas of freedom and democracy
could never have prevailed, just because democracy
was not our destiny. But if we take a broader look, it’s not that black and white. Yes, 1917 led to 70 years
of communist dictatorship. But with this project, we see that Russia
could have had a different history and a democratic future,
as any other country could or still can. Reading the posts from 1917, you learn that Russia
was the first country in the world to abolish the death penalty, or one of the first ones
to grant women voting rights. Knowing history and understanding
how ordinary people influenced history can help us create a better future, because history is just a rehearsal
of what’s happening right now. We do need new ways of telling history, and this year, for example, we started a new online project
that is called 1968Digital.com, and that is an online documentary series that gives you an impression
of that year, 1968, a year marked by global social change that, in many ways,
created the world as we know it now. But we are making that history alive by imagining what if all the main
characters could use mobile phones … just like that? And we see that a lot of individuals were facing the same challenges
and were fighting for the same values, no matter if they lived
in the US or in USSR or in France or in China
or in Czechoslovakia. By exposing history
in such a democratic way, through social media, we show that people in power
are not the only ones making choices. That gives any user a possibility
of reclaiming history. Ordinary people matter. They have an impact. Ideas matter. Journalists, scientists,
philosophers matter. We shape society. We all make history. Thank you. (Applause)

92 thoughts on “What the Russian Revolution would have looked like on social media | Mikhail Zygar

  1. "Russian", you mean Jewish revolution, these were murderous dangerous Jews who took down white Russia and then murdered millions across Europe. Let's title things correctly, name the Jew and be done with it.

    The West is so afraid of offending and incurring Jewish wrath that it has to change the titles of everything.


  2. I'd rephrase "all of us matter" into "all of us have a chance to matter, regardless of the fact sometimes this chance is 0,00000000000001%"

  3. Russians tolerate Putin, let them continue to suffer. Its sad, but thats their choice, now they have worthless currency and an economy smaller than Italy! Trump is collapsing Russia, one sanction at a time.

  4. If you want an American equivalent of a moment in history, see "1776". A musical, but drawn from the Congressional Record, personal letters and writings, family accounts, etc.
    Then read the book of the play, so many remarkable coincidences. You may know that Jefferson and Adams died on July 4th, 1826, fifty years to the day of independence. But in the play, Adams says about slavery "mark my words, if we give in on this, history will not forgive us". In real life, Adams said "mark my words, if we give in on this, history will not forgive us 100 years hence".
    Almost 100 years later the Civil War occurred.

  5. "One of the first countries to grant women voting rights"
    Well, their vote was equally as useless as their male counterparts under the USSR.

  6. This project is quite popular in Russia and it is really interesting, you guys should definitely check it out!

  7. Мда))) комментарии огонь) 10000ммллиардов расстрелянных лично Сталиным! Все тут😂

  8. You're like, living in the past man…

    Yes, if we don't learn from the past we're doomed to repeat it but if we focus on it and we don't move on from it we are also doomed to repeat it…

    Akuna mitata bitches…

  9. This makes no sense. Social didn't exist nor would it have. SO it is irrelevant. History prior to the digital revolution is be told, always in "wins" view, but history during and past it will be different. So yes all people have some impact, but the "little people" nowadays can have a larger voice, back then, they barely could get heard even with work, and to say they could is moronic. Russia would not have be come like the democratic west, it could have been different, but not like the west for many reason. Germany winning WW1 and maybe helping the Monarchs retake Russia could have been good, as we see how the Monarch's lost power in the UK so would have happened with them, especially with technology advancing social interactions. Russia could become democratic yes, but not soon as mos democratic nations currently are not democratic. Most are Oligarchs or Corporate Authoritarian, until there is a new leader and focus of equality will Russia be forced to join or economically die.

  10. I'll need to check this out but I can't see how it will be different to any other history website that has a trove of historical documents.

  11. Wow. This is a Great Video!!! You should slice the important points and snippets with Threelly SmartView Chrome extension – it’s Free to use: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/threelly-smartview-for-yo/dfohlnjmjiipcppekkbhbabjbnikkibo/ After you slice, it's really easy to share the short snippets on social media.

  12. This guy act like all comunist act… always thinking he could predict the past or the future. What always happens? They are wrong.

  13. Nice! Communism was a huge flaw. I can’t imagine where Russia would be right now if the revolutionaries pushed a capitalism/free market economy instead of Marxism.
    Maybe all of this was meant to be.

  14. He talk about Russia like about Holland, but only without democracy. If democracy can be everywhere so USSR can be everywhere! Or not? Or only in Russia with its 500-years traditions of the state (rus. gosudarstvenyi < gosudar' =  tsar) property and the strong centralized management on the great territory? There was Renaissance in Holland 400 years ago, when bourgeoisie stimulate science and art by its needs. There were private property and autonomous management for very small territories. Another example, Saddam Hussein was taken off from Iraq, he was a cause of suffering of 5000 victims. Did democracy, which can be everywhere, win there? ISIS won there, that can be only in Middle East and it was suffering of hundreds of thousands victims. It is too primitive to think that principles of private property and autonomous management, which made Europe and West World, make any country automatically like Holland. Those principles just will broke the order that exists. 1917 and 1991 are confirmations of it. And finally, are ordinary people have power in West World? Really? Exactly they have power? Or they only vote for Tide or Ariel washing powder from unaltered Proctor&Gamble? Why did you use this ancient utopian term – democracy? It is only politic brand, but not really power in the hands of ordinary people.  
    Он говорит о России так, как о Голландии, только без демократии. Если демократия возможна везде, то и СССР мог появится везде. Или все-таки не везде, а только в России с 500-летними традициями государственной (государевой)  собственности и жесткого централизованного управления? В Голландии 400-лет назад был Ренессанс, когда буржуазия своими потребностями стимулировала науку и искусство. Другой пример, в Ираке убрали узурпатора Хуссйена, от которого пострадало около 5000 человек. Там наступила демократия, которая возможна везде? Там наступил ИГИЛ, который возможен только на Ближнем Востоке, и пострадали сотни тысяч людей! Глупо думать, что принципы управления и владения собственностью, создавшие Европу и Западный мир, автоматически делают любую страну как Голландия. Они просто разрушат тот порядок, который есть. 1917 и 1991 – тому подтверждение. И последнее, разве простые люди на Западе стоят у власти? Или они выбирают между Тайдом и Ариелем от неизменного ПроктерЭндГэбл? Зачем тогда использовать этот утопический античный термин демократия? Это политический бренд, а не реальная власть в руках обычных людей.

  15. So much use of a word that is used wrongly on top of all..

    It almost sound like he believe the same as the rest of the world, that there is some places with Democracy to day..

    Let me try to explain in a easy way what Democracy really is:
    1. Democracy is when the people vote on CASES.
    2. Democracy is NOT when people vote on people (political party is people)

    This is extremely simple if you just try to think about it for the first time and let it sink in. 😉

    And then ask your self, is there any nation in this world where the people vote on cases and not on a little group of people?

    But to make you believe you live in a democracy they have a lot of groups you can vote on that is allowed to decide what colour they shall have on the curtains and other small silly things that will make no change what so ever.
    But the one we can vote on will never have the power to decide if we shall be a member of NATO, UN or other organisations they use to rule us with.
    Neither will they be able to decide if we shall go to war against another country or not.

    For each time we vote, we just make the hidden corrupted power behind the curtains stronger and stronger.
    If nobody voted, they would be forced to show their true face. 😉

  16. The Hollywood Elite would be gaga about Stalin and sing his praises and so would our complicit media. Then the Hollywood Elite would fully support his death camps and so would the complicit media.

  17. By exposing history in such a democratic way, through social media, we show that people in power are not the only ones making choices. That gives any user a possibility of reclaiming history. Ordinary people matter. They have an impact. Ideas matter.
    We shape society. We all make history.

  18. I've watched the first minute, and I already like this guy. 🙂 The less fatalism and romanticising of history Russians and others have, the better. History is complex and we contribute to it every day. What matters, are the choices. We can be noble, we can be nasty… It's important how we think things over and how we choose.

  19. Позиция оратора – интересная, но история не терпит сослагательного наклонения. История – это что было, опыт, который не терпит "если, могло быть по другому"
    The speaker's position is interesting, but history does not tolerate the subjunctive mood. History is what happened, an experience that does not tolerate the "if, but it could on the other"

  20. Here is a summary: If there was a social media a 100 years ago, even Communist Countries could be capitalist either.

  21. Stalin would be the one who'd drop a lot of fake news about the others.And probably he would try to own the social media or hack it or something similar.

  22. Комментарии лучше было бы отключить. Больше всего на Россию "гонят" те, кто там никогда не был и про Путина знают только из краткого обзора новостей.

  23. The guy only references his projects, without actually providing any substantial thought, idea or data. Basically an infomercial about his projects. I wouldn't reccomnd spending 5 minutes on this. Or just go directly to his projects, may be there is something there

  24. Sadly Russia is becoming another North Korea with its isolationism, state controlled news “we have a similar problem” and it’s cult like leader Putin. Their economy is stagnant, severe population problem, rubble all but worthless. The only thing driving the economy is oil. Sad situation

  25. I think the idea he was trying to portray was too abstract for a 5 minute talk. His accent probably also diminished his ability to communicate his message.

  26. lol "what the russian revolution would have looked like on social media" there wouldn't have been one. the government would have had access to all the information of the instigators and lenin, trotsky etc. would have been tracked down easily and arrested early.

    social media and and our reliance on tech can be a double edged sword. it means that some government operative or some AI program can flag anything you do and find you with minimal effort.

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