[Humanist] 23.88 Twittering resistance

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Jun 18 06:09:53 CEST 2009

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 88.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 17 Jun 2009 15:42:39 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: Twittering resistance

Students of online social networking may find the following story from 
the Washington Post useful. I've exerpted the first few paragraphs only.


Twitter Is a Player In Iran's Drama
State Dept. Asked Site to Keep Running

By Mike Musgrove
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The State Department asked social-networking site Twitter to delay 
scheduled maintenance earlier this week to avoid disrupting 
communications among tech-savvy Iranian citizens as they took to the 
streets to protest Friday's reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The move illustrates the growing influence of online social-networking 
services as a communications media. Foreign news coverage of the 
unfolding drama, meanwhile, was limited by Iranian government 
restrictions barring journalists from "unauthorized" demonstrations.

"One of the areas where people are able to get out the word is through 
Twitter," a senior State Department official said in a conversation with 
reporters, on condition of anonymity. "They announced they were going to 
shut down their system for maintenance and we asked them not to."

A White House official said "this wasn't a directive from Secretary of 
State, but rather was a low-level contact from someone who often talks 
to Twitter staff." The official said Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah 
Ali Khamenei, tweeted, according to news reports. "Twitter is simply a 
medium that all Iranians can use to communicate," the official said.


Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/;
Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.

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