June 15th, 2009
For those of you who use my new-found love, Twitter, search the top trending hashtag, “#iranelection.” It has completely opened my eyes to the power of online social networking.
Throughout the day, Iranian’s (those who still have access to the internet) have been tweeting on the events they see, posting pictures, etc. To assist them, others from around the world have been tweeting proxies that still work (i.e. unblocked) in Iran that still work so that they can keep posting on events they see.
There was even a scheduled maintenance on Twitter that would have preventing everyone from posting. What did people do? Spontaneously develop another hashtag, “#nomaintenance,” and ask Twitter to delay the scheduled maintenance. Twitter noticed, and delayed shutting down the site temporarily.
It’s an interesting question whether technology helps or hurts (or neither) liberty overall. It has been an incredible experience to see it used today to fight a brutal dictatorship and give voices to people who otherwise would go unheard.