Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tweeting the Revolution

This is my third day of tweeting the aftermath of the elections in Iran and the experience is just blowing me away.

On Sunday, Twitter had the news long before TV and the amount of info that was being shared online, albeit without vetting, was just amazing. I won't mention the names of the Tweeters in Iran for security reasons, but picture this.

I'm in New Jersey, reading tweets from an Iranian student sitting with a laptop on a balcony in an apartment building in Tehran. I'm getting a blow by blow of what's going on in the street below. Iranians in New York and London are tweeting reports from their friends and relatives in Tehran. Demonstrations are being set up in front of Iranian embassies all over the world on Twitter. Links to Youtube and Flickr give me up to the minute graphic images to chew on. Meanwhile, CNN is re-running a report from Iran filed hours earlier by Christiane Amanpour. Let's see-- Twitter or CNN? It's a no brainer. It was a watershed moment in the world of communication not unlike CNN's coverage of the first Gulf War. The gap was so great, we will never be the same again.

By yesterday, half of the Twitterverse had green icons, in solidarity with the Iranian people. Efforts to block twitter and silence the Iranian twitterers were being countered by internet saavy geeks and hackers all over the world. Demonstrations were increasing. Tension was mounting. CNN was scrambling and the beat went on.

Last night I read an interesting blogpost laying out the proposition that the whole thing was a well planned Israeli effort to destabilize Iran by delegitimizing the election. You can read the whole post here and decide for yourself whether it is truth or disinformation. Whatever it is, it made me stop and think.Not only is the situation in Iran a watershed moment in the world of politics and a sea change in communication techniques, it might also be a new wrinkle in espionage.

Whatever is happening and whatever the truth is, it is big. Very big. The world will never be the same again and as events unfold, we may just find ourselves tweeting more than one revolution.


JamaGenie said...

Dictatorships only work in isolation. Much as I hate cell phones, it's wonderful that they are being used to shine a much-needed spotlight into the darkness of the Islamic Republic.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about the idea that these demonstrations are Israeli meddling. The Israelis, like the Americans, are not able to coordinate all that well, and also can't keep secrets. The demonstrations are what they appear to be.

Besides, having a nutter like the current "president" in Iran is good for Israel.