Wednesday 17 June 2009

Revolution 2.0

News of the next revolution will undoubtedly be spread on Twitter, the social networking tool with the micro memory.
Twittering in post-election Iran has gone crazy, with 27,866 posts with the hashtag #Iran Revolution ( a way of keeping in touch with people writing on the same subject) on Monday, and only a slight decline yesterday to 25,605. No one can say any world event will ever take place without a good tweeting ever again.
Latest hashtags tweets this morning update the world about a new video from the frontline, a march to mark the dead tomorrow and a report saying traditional journalists are being locked down in their hotels.
Not only is this new form of communication getting the news out of Iran, but it is helping people inside the country communicate where marches are happening, and find out what is happening.
Journalists outside Iran are glued to Twitter to see what they can find out as it has become the equivalent of a citizen-led newswire.
But unlike the PA or AP wire, anyone can add a message to Twitter, so you have to take posts with a pinch of something serious, just in case it is a post with malicious intent, or some counter propaganda, which is being used.
And you have to take account of bias too. The educated middle class are the ones most likely to have access to the Internet in Iran, and therefore most likely to tweet.
The US government is well aware that any interference in the current tumult, given the history of Western interference right back to Operation Ajax, would not be helpful for Mousavi supporters.
However, the US has shown its colours to some extent by putting in a request for Twitter to stay open through the night, instead of closing for routine maintenance, to keep that communication channel open, during the last hectic few days.
Twitter and be free - or something like that. Twitter will be up and around the world before the rest of the world has pulled its socks on.

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