The Orange Room was created by Hagop Vahan Manisajian aka "X". Earliest posts in The Orange Room (then known only as LFPM) are traceable to May 29, 2004. The popularity of the site has been growing since, reaching a peak number of simultaneous visitors (3,254) on June 13, 2007 at 5:42 PM. The website has over 20,000 registered members to date.
The Orange Room states it is "dedicated to bringing people together to promote free thoughtful dialog about issues that concern but are not limited to Lebanon".
The Orange Room used to be a partisan website in that it was hosted under tayyar.org, the official website of the Lebanese Free Patriotic Movement Party, but in October 2012, it moved to its new independent host Oroom.org. Although reflecting the Lebanese political tensions at various times, the level of openness and the ability to voice dissenting opinions has gradually increased with time, and at one point it has been reasonably argued that users from any political affiliation have been able to freely express their thoughts and opinions. This openness, although still relatively present, has however decreased over the past few years. The Orange Room was closed by Tayyar.org on October 5, 2012 after almost 10 years of great success, 21000 members, 1,110,000 posts and millions of views.
Mid October 2012, The Orange Room reopened. The online forum parted ways with Tayyar.org's hosting service and continues to serve its community independently. The Orange Room is now hosted on Oroom.org.
The Orange Room has consistently been a link between Lebanese citizens and the Free Patriotic Movement's leadership, having among its registered users Members of the Lebanese Parliament such as Ghassan Moukheiber, Salim Salhab and Nicolas Sehnaoui the Minister of Telecommunications. The Orange Room also conducted interviews with Moukheiber, and other notable personalities such as Gaby Issa, Ziad Abs, and Orange TV's IT Department Manager Chadi el Hachem.
At one point, the Orange Room sent a delegation to meet General Michel Aoun and update him on its objectives and progress.
In October 2005, the Orange Room raised over $3,800 for SOLIDE, an NGO fighting for the release of Lebanese citizens detained arbitrarily in Syrian prisons.
In February 2007, the Orange Room raised over $6,000 for riot victim Marc Hoayek, who was seriously injured during the January 23, 2007 Lebanese political protests
In August 2014, during the Battle of Arsal, the Orange Room and FLAG961 raised over $14,000 for the Lebanese Armed Forces. The equipments were bought, shipped and delivered to the Air Assault Regiment.
Members and Orange Room staff were heavily involved in the media war that accompanied the July War. It can be reasonably argued that The Orange Room played a significant role in the virtual online information war. The following is a list of websites that have been at least indirectly linked to Orange Room staff members:From Israel to Lebanon
Stop Destroying Lebanon
The "Save the Lebanese Civilians" Petition, that collected over 200,000 signatures. The petition website was attacked by hackers several times during the July War.
The Orange Room website itself was the target of continuous attacks.
The Orange Room is divided into 4 forums containing a combined total of 10 subforums.
This forum contains discussions about politics of Lebanon, the Middle East and the world. A notable fact is that it has enabled direct communication between Israeli and Lebanese citizens.
The Private Forum for the Orange Room Supporters is reserved for members who have paid an annual registration fee. This forum is not moderated (however censorship on profanity and obscene language still applies) and only Orange Room Supporters can post and read it.
The Community Forums, also referred to as Cool Forums by Orange Room staff and members, is the space reserved for all non-political discussions. It is divided into 7 subforums:Lebanon Away From Politics: Non-political topics about Lebanon, including history, culture, environment, tourism and social issues
Classifieds, Jobs, Education & Business
Self Improvement: topics such as health, fitness, diet, exercise, religion, meditation, beauty and attire
Science and Technology
Books, Movies, Music, TV & Entertainment
The Lounge: Topics that do not fit in the above categories
The Research Forums are in theory a repository of raw, factual information. The Orange Room states that the Research Forums go "beyond opinions, to facts".Archival: Serves as a repository for historical documents, elections numbers, interviews, government, municipalities and political parties administrative contacts and resources.
Archival seeks to help reduce the fragmentation of the historical record by connecting events whose temporal and spatial relationships are often obscured by a mass of contradicting and disconnected literature, the biases of the media, and the tendency for important past events to be relegated to the annals of forgotten history. By reducing the fragmentation of the historical record, this project hopes to reduce the amount of time it takes for the public to acquire a full and coherent picture of an event or issue.
This section is dedicated for all the inputs that are related to archives such as: Historical documents; Election campaigns and results; Important press conferences and interviews; Government administrative, municipality and ministerial contacts and resources; FPM committee’s contacts and resources; Etc ...
In order to better organize the Archival, this section is divided into the following four parts:
1) Historical Archives: Archives for all kinds of historical events from the World, Lebanon and FPM.
2) National and FPM Media: Directory and resource to all the media outlets, journalists, reporters, and media shows.
3) Elections and Campaigns: Archives to all kinds of elections; Covering candidates, campaigns, results and other related info.
4) The Government & the Parliament: Directory for government resources, ministries directories, MPs & politicians contacts and FPM’s offices and committees contacts.Research: Serves as a repository for governmental, FPM and other political party's achievements. Reports and biographies on many political and social personalities are also available. In addition, different political, social, economical and technological matters are studied objectively.
The Research section is to provide means for members of LFPM.ORG to monitor the activities of political entities, such as governments, Change & Reform Bloc, FPM and other parties. In this capacity, the RF should be regarded as a tool that enables members to operate as a sort of people’s intelligence agency.
To initiate an investigation of a certain issue, entity, or event, a user first creates a time line and a clear description of the project or the thread. LFPM.ORG members begin adding events, entities, and relationships to that thread.
Production and Acquisition:
To increase the efficiency of information production: RF is premised on the notion that collaboration in a networked “open-content” environment can greatly improve the efficiency and quality of information production in the public sphere as it allows contributors to build upon and improve the work of others in real time as part of an LFPM.ORG community.
To increase the efficiency of information acquisition: In order to avoid being faced with many threads in which members ending up debating for the sake of repeating a position (with or against) they heard from someone they trust, without really being provided deep professional insight into the matter. Therefore, RF interferes in certain threads, where professional insight is required to make the judgment easier on members and readers.
This section is dedicated to all inputs that are related, but not limited, to: Governments, FPM and all other political party achievements; All political and social personalities; Research on different political, social, economical and technological matters.
The division here will come in three different categories:
1) Politics: Research on different political matters and monitor the activities of Governments, FPM and other political parties.
2) Economy & Finance: Research on issues related to World and Lebanese economy.
3) People & Life: Research on issues related to different activities that affects our society.RF Info: Contains help tools and information about the Research Forums.
In addition to the regular Forum Rules, the Research Forum has the following additions:
1) All articles posted on this forum should have a reliable source. i.e. either an operating link, or a reliable reference.
2) Only Facts and analyzes based on facts are acceptable. You cannot post your interpretation of the story; this is not a discussion forum.
3) All threads should have a clear statement on its initiative and its benefits.
4) All posts and threads need the approval of the moderators.
The Orange Room also offers to its members other features, including:Arcade games