The Iranian revolution will be Twittered, not televised

June 15th, 2009

Social media systems share some aspects of television, but not all. They differ in that their content is created by their users. While the revolution will not be televised, it can be tweeted. It’s been more than 50 years since TV was the thing.

The NYT has an article on the role that social media sites are playing in the conflicts surrounding the Iran election, Social Networks Spread Iranian Defiance Online.

“Iranians are blogging, posting to Facebook and, most visibly, coordinating their protests on Twitter, the messaging service. Their activity has increased, not decreased, since the presidential elections on Friday and ensuing attempts by the government to restrict or censor their online communications.
     On Twitter, reports and links to photos from a peaceful mass march through Tehran on Monday, along with accounts of street fighting and casualties around the country, have become the most popular topic on the service worldwide, according to Twitter’s published statistics.
     A couple of Twitter feeds have become virtual media offices for the supporters of the leading opposition candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi. One feed, mousavi1388, (1388 is the year in the Persian calendar) is filled with news of protests and exhortations to keep up the fight, in Persian and English. It has more than 7,000 followers. Mr. Moussavi’s fan group on Facebook has swelled to over 50,000 members, a significant increase since election day.”

The article also reports on efforts to encourage cyber attacks on Iran sites

“Some Twitter users were also going on the offensive. On Monday morning, an antigovernment activist using the Twitter account “DDOSIran” asked supporters to visit a Web site to participate in an online attack to try to crash government Web sites by overwhelming them with traffic. By Monday afternoon, many of those sites were not accessible, though it was not clear if the attack was responsible — and the Twitter account behind the attack had been removed. A Twitter spokeswoman said the company had no connection to the deletion of the account.”

A php script is still available on the web and can be found if you search for it.