Could Use of Social Media Crush ‘Big Brother’?
June 30, 2009
As the embattled government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tries to limit Internet access and communications in Iran, new kinds of social media are challenging state media control. Iranians are blogging, posting to Facebook and, most visibly, coordinating their protests on the messaging service Twitter.
Their activity has increased, not decreased, during attempts by the Iranian government to restrict or censor their online communications. On Twitter, reports and links to photos from a peaceful mass march through Tehran, along with accounts of street fighting and casualties around the country, rapidly became the most popular topic on the service worldwide.
A couple of Twitter feeds have become virtual media offices for the supporters of the leading opposition candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi. Mr. Moussavi’s fan group on Facebook has swelled to over 50,000 members.
Many Twitter users have been sharing ways to evade government snooping, such as programming their Web browsers to contact a proxy.