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Ringtone Startles President

Ring tones can be used in innovative ways to not only inform and organise people on an issue but also to get them to engage and participate actively. In the Philippines, for instance, part of an alleged conversation between the Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano and Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has become a hugely popular ring tone on mobile phones - the 'Hello Garci' ringtone started circulating online days after tapes of this supposed conversation about vote rigging surfaced in the media.

The 17-second greeting is top of the charts on phones, as Mrs Arroyo struggles with record low popularity. The authorities have barred the media from broadcasting any portion of it, saying it is part of a plot against the president. Even public transport drivers have been warned not to adapt the ring tone to the horns of their vehicles.

An internet site that offerred the 'Hello Garci' tune crashed as Filipinos clamoured to download it. Antony Cruz from a text message consumer rights group said its site got more than 70,000 hits in three days.

See the full story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4120042.stm

Download the ring tone at http://pcij.org/blog/wp-files/ringtones.php