Real Digital Power: Ilya Klishin

I was a panelist for Newsweek/Daily Beast’s recentDigital Power Index. Though the Revolutionaries group was more representative of nationality, ethnicity, and gender than the rest of the list, I’d like to share my original list of 10 nominees, and also take an opportunity to highlight some of the world’s best digital activists.

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9)Ilya Klishin website showing people signed up for the White Circle action

Though blogger Alexei Navalny gets most of the digital activism attentionin Russia these days. Another activist was just as responsible for the March protests that knocked Vladimir Putin back on his heels.

Head of the online resource Epic Hero, Ilya was behind the creation of the first and most influential Facebook group that lead to the big protests as well as the biggest Russian political flashmob “White Circle” (about 20,000 participants, see image left). White Circle allowed people to sign up for the protest via the websitefeb26.rurather than relying on a traditional coordinating committee.

By letting a computer program do the dirty work a major anti-government action took place, yet there were no organizers to arrest. It’s innovators like Ilya that make Russian autocrats sweat.

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