Getting news from Iran via Twitter

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The reform movement has been gaining ground in Iran for years, and it is plausible that if it weren’t for American belligerence toward Iran, the reformers would have gained the upper hand years ago. It can be shown that about 100 percent of the time, foreign threats (real or imagined) produce support for the forces of reaction and nationalism within a country. Thus Ahmadinejad, the right-wing, populist, big-government nationalist, is able to harness more support from the old and conservative in Iran every time the United States threatens to bomb them back into the stone age.

The youthful and the liberal (in the classical global sense) on the other hand, loathe Ahmadinejad.  Thus, Ahmadinejad is the favorite candidate for the American regime since he can be counted on to make outlandish comments about Jews or do something that makes Iran look like it’s brimming with belligerent anti-Semites. In reality, Iran is a deeply divided country politically, and American policy toward that country is only helping to undermine the reformers at every turn.

Now, with the recent demonstrations, the American media is useless for getting actual information on Iran, as we’d expect from an entity that is furiously busy reporting on what Obama’s dog ate for breakfast.   So I’ve been following the Twitter activity out of Iran through the hashtags #iranelection, #iranians, and #Iran.  Just enter the term with the # into the Twitter search field. This will show you only the Twitter entries that reference the topic.

It difficult to say which entries are legit, which are hoaxes, and which are from meddling governments, but that’s life with new media. You simply have to bring a critical eye to the situation.Some of the Flickr photos being posted and other resources are really quite excellent.

I remember a similar phenomenon during the Mumbai massacres when #mumbai on Twitter had by far the most  up to date info on the situation there. As time passes, and as we can study the situation in hindsight, it will be interesting to see the medium’s impact on events like these.

10:57 pm on June 15, 2009