Tweeting from Tehran

Iranian Protests – wow!

I’m literally about to walk out the door so I can’t say much, but I wanted to share some really fascinating and important links concerning the situation in Iran right now. I can’t help but wonder how ill-informed the world would be right now were not for social media and Twitter in particular. For a brief summary of the ways in which Twitter is contributing to the protests in Iran check out this article – The Revolution will be Twittered from The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan (and check back frequently because he is continually covering the situation and updating often).

Here is a video from what was happening in the streets of Iran last night (June 14). They are chanting, “Death to the dictator” and “I will fight, I will fight, I will take back my vote”.
Twitter has played such an important role, but even if you’re not on Twitter you can still follow Tweets from Tehran (within 15 miles). Many of the Tweets are from protesters and people in Iran, but many are calls to action and for solidarity. For example,

Floodsourcing = change Twitter Timezone to +3 GMT/location to Iran. We are all Iranians, i.e. Iranian govt, find us all.

don’t know if this really helps but: Change ur Twitter Profile Timezone to GMT+03:30 & your location to Tehran to confuse govt #iranelection

Video of shooting on the streets (warning: graphic)

The Twittersphere has called for everyone to change their location and time zone to Tehran to confuse the government. I do not know the effectiveness of this action, but is at least an act of solidarity. So many of the Tweets you will see in the search are actually Americans and Europeans (and more) who have changed their location to Tehran. It is almost overwhelming how many Tweets are coming in – hundreds a minute – with important information about what is happening on the streets of Iran right now (sad and scary!). Some other examples of calls for solidarity and social action as well as news include:

Please retweet: just signed petition ‘Google Earth to update satellite images of Tehran ‘ – http://301.to/23o

RT URGENT to any following #iranelection remove usernames when RT, gov tracking dissenters in iran. don’t risk their safety/lose their voice

When RT use “RT from Iran” to protect safety of Iranians who are Twittering

RT Iranian government propaganda news site ISNA.IR is back up. Let’s bring it down http://is.gd/12Y5F (expand) #IranElection #cnnfail

Please sign petition: http://bit.ly/Z3Yzq (expand) to get United Nations to investigate #IranElection.

RT from Iran: Gov hackers are on twitter now – we are getting threats – #iranelection

RT from Iran Functioning proxies 218.128.112.18:8080 218.206.94.132:808 218.253.65.99:808 219.50.16.70:8080

RT from Iran: The Guardian: 12 students killed in protest http://bit.ly/A5zi #iranelection

RT @IranRiggedElect) Uloaded YouTube video — Shooting people in Iran Election Protest http://bit.ly/OGes0 <– graphic

It goes on and on. And for those of you not familiar with Twitter, the http://bit.ly or http://tinyurl etc. are shortened URLs that fit into Twitter’s 140 character limit. If you copy and paste them into your browser it will take you to the link. And the proxies suggested above are people alerting Iranians of ways to bypass the government surviellence and/or get around blocks that have been put on internet access. There is also a flood of images coming in, images that mainstream media certainly aren’t showing. So disturbing and violent. In recognition of the importance of the tool, Twitter has rescheduled downtime maintenance so as not to interfere with service during this critical time.
And Obama finally spoke about the situation today as well, you can watch his report here:

The entire situation is quite unsettling but it is amazing to think about the role new technologies play in facilitating citizens to communicate with one another, even against a government that is trying so hard to shut down communication and information.

Image Credit: Protest

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