Before You Even Start With the Fake #Iranianelection Re-Tweets

I wrote a little love letter, yesterday,  to the old media types who are telling Twitter to get off their lawns.  Today, Jake Tapper has a post about a bump in the road for Iranian election tweeters that’s sure to make the dinosaurs shout “A-HA!”

ABC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent Jim Sciutto has just left Iran.  His visa, which allowed him to report from the streets of Tehran during the election demonstrations, has expired, requiring him to depart.  He reports now from Dubai:

The government is now trying to turn technology against the protesters. Officials have started a number of fake opposition pages on Twitter, which are tweeting propaganda and misleading information. I became an unwitting victim when a user named ‘persian_guy’ retweeted several things under my name which I didn’t write. Here are a couple:

As I said yesterday, this is no reason to throw out the only tool available to the Iranian opposition.  It’s like saying, “I got a phone call from someone pretending to be X, and they stole my identity!  No more phone calls for me!  That dang thing’ll steal your soul, anyway!”

The fake re-tweets, in this case, were rather clumsy, and were sure to raise the suspicion of anyone with an ounce of intelligence.

The Iranian opposition has shown outstanding resourcefulness and tenacity.  I doubt very much that they’ll be foiled by the Twitter equivalent of the Jerky Boys.

#Iran-Twitter Revolution Poo-Pooer Jack Shafer Doesn’t Get it

Update: Andrew Sullivan somehow agrees with both of us.

I was probably one of many journalists who sat up and took notice of Twitter’s amazing role in the Iranian election twitteraftermath.  Of course, you can’t give anyone credit for anything without some naysayer coming along to say “Nay,” and Slate’s Jack Shafer fills the “beat the backlash” opening in this case:

Doubting Twitter: Let’s not get carried away about its role in Iran’s demonstrations.

OK, before I get started, let me re-print my own Twitter in Iran article at the end of this one, so you can see who’s getting carried where. This will save me some time, anyway. Continue: Continue reading

Info About Iran: Twitter, Links, etc.

alex01thumbI had a really long and complex (and surprisingly coherent) post written up about the Iran elections. And then WordPress ate it. (Yes, WordPress ate my homework. No, it’s not funny, I was working on that for hours.) It’s late and I’m pissed off and on a computer that switches to French keyboard configurations without warning, so you get the abbreviated version, which, on the off-chance that WordPress is just dicking around, will be restored to the original later. If not, what you see is what you get.

The gist of it: I’ve been following the Iran election fandango as best I can via international sources such as BBC News and CNN International, since American sources fail to give me the kind of coverage that I need.

The revolution will not be televised. However, it will be, and is being, Tweeted. Those supporting Iranian reform candidate Mir-Hussein Mousavi have increasingly turned to Twitter as a means of communication since text messages and Facebook have been cut off within Iran.

The rest of it was a very long recap of the events so far, and links to more information about the elections and the protests, as well as those tweeting about the events. Putting it all in list format. Continue reading

President Obama’s Full Remarks on Iranian Election


Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release June 15, 2009




Oval Office

5:48 P.M. EDT
Continue reading

Twitter Comes of Age in Iran


Update: Score a big victory for Tweeps everywhere, who have succeeded in getting Twitter to delay maintenance that would have shut down communication out of Iran for at least an hour.

Almost 2 years ago, political innovator Joe Trippi tried to explain to me what the hell Twitter was, and why it was going to be “the new MySpace.”  Although I had no frakkin’ idea what he was talking about, I signed up anyway.  The guy never steered me wrong before.

Almost a year after that, I began to see the possibilities, and now, I routinely sign off of Twitter with a mock prayer in memory of MySpace.  Twitter as a viral watercooler (that sounds gross) has, indeed, revolutionized social media with the unlikely combination of old-school elements like the telegraph and the party line.

Now, it looks like Twitter has revolutionized journalism. Continue reading

Klingons Attack President Obama Over Iranian Elections


Update: President Obama spoke about the Iranian elections just a short while ago, striking a note in line with his pre-election statement:

“It is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be,” President Obama said this afternoon, underlining “that we respect Iranian sovereignty.”

The president added, however, that he is “deeply troubled by the violence I have been seeing on television. I think that the, the democratic process, free speech, the ability for people to peacefully dissent, all those are universal values and need to be respected.”

Mr. Obama said the US “will continue to pursue a tough direct dialogue between our two countries and we’ll see where it takes us.  But even as we do so, it would be wrong for me to be silent about what we’ve seen on the television over the last few days and what I would say to those people who put so much hope and energy and optimism into the political process, I would say to them that the world is watching and inspired by their participation regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was.”

Sometimes, I think the right forgets about the “diplomatic” part of “diplomacy.” Or maybe they think the word refers to “diplomas,” and form their opinions by consulting the GED set.

Powerline has a typically insightful review of President Obama’s statement on the Iranian elections, before all hell broke loose:

On Friday, President Obama had this to say about the election in Iran:

We are excited to see what appears to be a robust debate taking place in Iran. Whoever ends up winning the election in Iran, the fact there has been a robust debate hopefully will advance our ability to engage them in new ways. Continue reading