Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Twittering of Iran

The many tools of the internet have begun to demonstrate they are actually worth a least a portion of the praise heaped upon them by those who promise kittens and flowers and peace, if only everyone had high speed internet access available.

Even the lowly Twitter-which is actually an appropriate adjective to describe some of the most avowed acolytes of the tool-has shown itself to be a veritable life-line for many inside and outside of Iran.

Thanks to the distributed nature of its architecture, there is no single point for the Iranian regime to clamp down on, as when the blocked access to Facebook after students flocked to Mir Hossein Musavi's page (the former prime minister challenging Ahmadinejad for the Presidency). Their only recourse is to shut down entire networks, which it did to the text-messaging network on the day of the election.

While we are likely to quickly regret the proliferation of the term "Twitter revolution" there is little doubt that it and the proliferation of quick and comprehensive (text, voice, video) communication available through the modern networks has helped coordinate the efforts of the Iranian protestors as well as spread the word to the wider world.

Let's let the Iranians decide what to call their efforts. After all,  despite the integral role of pamphleteers in fomenting and organizing the American rebellion, no one called the War of Independence the "Pamphleteer Revolution".

- Murphy

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