6 Comments

Summary:

Twitter got an interesting tech support call from a highly unique customer today: The Obama Administration, via the U.S. State department, which reportedly asked the microblogging service to delay a system upgrade in order to maintain the tsunami of history-making tweets about and emanating from Iran […]

Iran at Net cafeTwitter got an interesting tech support call from a highly unique customer today: The Obama Administration, via the U.S. State department, which reportedly asked the microblogging service to delay a system upgrade in order to maintain the tsunami of history-making tweets about and emanating from Iran via Twitter’s #iranelection topic in the wake of the country’s highly disputed presidential election. It’s unclear if high-ranking members of President Obama’s team were directly involved in this Twitter request; given that this is by far the country’s most Web 2.0-centric Administration, however, it’s possible they were. (Last April, the State Department included Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in a sponsored delegation of technology executives to neighboring Iraq, in order to show, among other applications, a spokesman explained, how “new technologies can be used to build local capacity, foster greater transparency and accountability, build upon anti-corruption efforts.”)

In any case, it’s fascinating to contrast this behind-the-scenes activity with the official statements coming from the White House. President Obama’s first public statement on the Iran turmoil yesterday was muted and highly cautious, taking pains (in light of historic U.S. interference in Iran) to emphasize that his Adminstration respects Iranian sovereignty and self-rule. (Critics have instead urged him to condemn Iran’s repressive tactics.) At the same time, however, his State Department is actively working with the central conduit of protest against Iran’s government: Twitter. As the President put it yesterday, “[W]e do believe that the Iranian people and their voices should be heard and respected.”

Image courtesy of Wired’s Danger Room.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. How do you know it’s not Sec. Hillary Clinton running the Twitter Iran show from the State Department on her own the same way her policy towards gay and lesbian employees in the State Department is at odds with her boss’ views on the Defense and Marriage Act as manifested by the DOJ’s recent actions?

  2. Twitter: No Internet Required Friday, June 19, 2009

    [...] with rudimentary technology can impact real-world events like Iranian elections. That’s how Twitter can change the way we [...]

  3. Biz Stone Talks Up the Future of Twitter Thursday, August 13, 2009

    [...] utility reached a whole new dimension this summer when Iranians took to tweeting in order to voice their opinions without being silenced by the government. But while the site has [...]

  4. Remembering 9/11 — A Time Before Social Networks Friday, September 11, 2009

    [...] news; examples include the TwitPic picture of the U.S. Airways plane in the Hudson River and when Iranians tweeted about the violent clashes between the government and protesters following that country’s [...]

  5. Will Trendistic Trump Trendrr for Tracking Twitter Trends? – GigaOM Friday, November 20, 2009

    [...] Martinez August 28, 2009 4 Comments 0 0 1 94 As we saw with the death of Michael Jackson and the Iranian election protests, statistics on tweets help to reveal how information spreads across the web. For many, Trendrr has [...]

  6. Chat Roulette Piano Improv Removed From YouTube Monday, March 22, 2010

    [...] online — but not only has it evolved as a community and communication means, events like the protests over last year’s Iran elections have proved the value of fast, mobile text communication. There may be more to Chat Roulette than [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post