Monday, June 15, 2009

Is it Cnn? BBC? Fox? - no its Twitter

Live from Tehran, it's the Twitter revolution.

In the crackdown following the disputed Iranian presidential election results this weekend, the authorities shut down text messaging, blocked Facebook and YouTube and cut off the BBC Persian-language service — but they forgot about Twitter.

Because of that, the simple microblogging service has become Iran's lifeline to the outside, a way for Iranians to tell the world what's happening on the streets of Tehran in real time — and a vital means of communication among themselves

Also Associated Press extract: -

In Iran, as in many still-developing countries, Internet usage is mostly still a phenomenon of the affluent, the youth and city-dwellers — meaning Twitter and other networks are used mostly by the young and liberal — and may overemphasize their numbers while ignoring more-conservative political sentiments among the non-connected.

On Monday, the Twitter site showed topics that were getting the most attention, including "IranElection," "Mousavi" and "Tehran." In one 10-minute period, 12 users who identified themselves as being within 50 miles of Tehran posted Tweets.

Some media such as The Associated Press and others often monitor sites such as Twitter, looking for news tips and to assess the general mood.

Even Ashton Kutcher, one of Twitter's biggest fans, has weighed in on the elections. He tweeted: "I think that truely (sic) the only people that can change things in Iran are the Iranians themselves and they seem to be speaking their minds now."

Twitter has played a role in other world political events. This April, protesters of parliamentary elections in Moldova used Twitter and the Internet when mobile phones and cable news television stations went down. They rallied as many as 10,000 people to one demonstration.

Earlier this month, government censors in China shut down Twitter as well as other social networking and image-sharing Web sites as part of their attempt to block out news about the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The latest tweets on the elections can be retrieved by typing in #iranelection into the Twitter search box.

And an aggregator that automatically bundles together the latest Iran tweets can be found here.

Other similar services that search twitter include Tweetscan andTwitterfall .

Twittersearch provides real time updates from Twitter as they come in.

article here

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