Friday, June 19, 2009

Revolution Exaggerated

Iran is in turmoil, I get it. I am listening to the BBC World Have Your Say right now and hearing people come in an demonstrate exactly why I distrust the value of Social Media as a means of mobilizing. I would also like to call attention to the comment made by a friend of mine on the post before this one (go look at it!).

There are relatively few Twitter users in Iran, as a guest on the BBC mentioned. Also, Western Media is using Twitter and other Social Media as a primary source, defying the rule of social media which is to never trust anything unverifiable because contributers are not accountable. This Social Media revolution has caused the most radical events to float to the top. While we would likely have a clearer view of what is happening if the government would let our media report, we cannot use Twitter as a primary source. Also, Janaiha (from the previous post comments) is absolutely right that the value of online support is limited because, if for no other reason, than it is easy to bluster but hard and dangerous to walk with the protestors.

Also, check out the Basiji militia article in the NY Times. They scare the heck out of me since they represent young radicals that we see on occassion here, such as with the "Islamo-Facism Awareness Week" at my campus at George Washington University.

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