Skype is the go-to social network for communication between rebels, anti-government activists, journalists and officials inside and outside of Syria.
Why? Skype uses wiretapping-resistant Voice over IP (VoIP) technology, making it safer for transmitting messages while under the watchful eyes and ears of government censors. It's free to download and easy to use, both positives for cash-strapped rebels and activists. Its video-based chatting makes it easier to identify the person on the other line, important when verifying information as legit amidst the fog of war. And it provides an easy way for Syrians to gather electronically in areas where assembling in person poses too great a security risk.
"Skype was big in Libya, but it was just kind of emerging and the conflict was shorter," said Lara Setrakian, founder of Syria Deeply, the dedicated Syria news startup. "Skype is now where you go first. And we've been invited into private chat rooms, we've had some of them translated for us in real time. That is where rebel groups are posting updates and activists inside and out are having conversations."