Twitter causes disruption in Iran

June 17, 2009

As many of you will be aware, Twitter has become a leading source of information about events in Iran, following a news blackout that has left conventional media almost powerless. Twitterers in the country have used the service to organise demonstrations, avoid riot police and send news of the drama to the outside world.

Naturally, the Iranian authorities are keen to crack down on Twitter users. And so worldwide supporters have begun switching their time zones to match Iran’s, with the aim of confusing censors who want to zero in on Iranian Twitter users. It shows what you can achieve once you’ve correctly understood a medium. Other Twitterers are turning their profile pictures green as a gesture of support.

While highly personal, non-objective tweets cannot replace balanced reporting, they provide a compelling alternative. We don’t know whether the election was indeed fraudulent or how the story will end. But just as millions of people followed the Gulf War on CNN, millions are watching Twitter for news of Iran.

If you have any comments please email Ulrich Proeschel.

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