Twitter Proves Its Worth

By  |  Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm

twitterlogoA 140 character message lacks the iconography of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin speaking from atop a tank during the 1991 Soviet coup attempt, but Iranian twitters are nonetheless staging courageous acts. The clandestine tweets have inspired sympathizers from around the world to act in solitary by changing their location to Tehran to mask protesters’ identities.

The circumstances were very different in 1991, but cable news and radio played an important role in thwarting a coup by soviet hardliners. Cable news was the new media of the day, and coup planners were either unwilling or unwilling to stop domestic and international broadcasts that may have contributed to the plot’s failure.

Today, Twitter is being leveraged to baffle the old guard. The Iranian government shut down Facebook, but Twitter has remained in operation, and protesters have used the hashtag “#IranElection” to organize. People are attempting to overwhelm Iranian censors by changing their locations, so that the tweets (and Tweeters) will not be silenced (or harmed).

The U.S. State Department did its part by asking Twitter to delay scheduled maintenance that would shut down the service during crucial daylight hours in Iran.

If there was ever a justification for Twitter’s existence,  this is it. Tweets can be as banal as someone saying what they had for breakfast, or they can be a means for people to stand up for their beliefs.



4 Comments For This Post

  1. Alexandra Says:

    Please, please, please do not disclose any of the names of the Iranians that are tweeting. it could cost them their lives.

  2. David Worthington Says:

    @Alexandra We did not. What are you referring to?

  3. Mike Says:

    Why did my comment with a link showing twitter is being manipultated by a few people get removed?

  4. TechieVarta Says:

    If I may indulge in some self promotion 🙂
    Lots of iPhone users also used Twitter World application from to translate Farsi Tweets automatically to English.