Posted: 21 Feb 2010 Print Send a link
"[T]he notion that Twitter and other social media played a defining role in orchestrating one of the greatest challenges the Islamic Republic has faced in its 30-year history always seemed vastly overcooked to anyone who was on the ground in Iran at the time. Of the scores of protesters I met in Tehran and two other major cities, Isfahan and Shiraz, only one had ever used Twitter, and she admitted that was only once or twice. Most had never even heard of it. With internet access disrupted and text-messaging services shut down, Iranians learned of the anti-government rallies through word of mouth or calls made on landline phones. ... Ali, an Iranian man who works for Tactical Tech, says the importance of the sense of community engendered by social media should not be underestimated. 'Human rights activists can often feel isolated and their work can make them feel like David against the Goliath. These tools help by allowing them discover that people on the other side of the world are doing similar things. That brings a feeling of empowerment.'" Mary Fitzgerald, Irish Times, 20 February 2010.