The role of social media in the Iranian election

As you are all aware of by now, assuming that you are somewhat wired, there was a presidential election in Iran. When the news surfaced globally that current Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won the election with 65% of the vote, it set in motion the wheels that power social media. While the outrage over a seemingly rigged election simmered to a boil, demonstrators numbered in the hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Iran in massive protests…Something else happened as well.

Those same elements however, took to the power of social media to document in real time the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s violent reaction to the people’s protests of a seemingly rigged election. That’s right, the power of social media was literally the first to let the world know about the displeasure that Iranian citizens had over the election results and the fallout from that election.

Much of this activity was covered by Iranian citizens on social networking sites like YouTube, Twitter, and Flickr,  Facebook and personal blogs; and though the Iranian government did their best to try and stop the rising flood of information flowing out of the country via social media, ultimately theres not  a thing the Iranian government can do to suppress the massive amount of citizen journalism taking place before our eyes.

Consider the following:

According to BNET Media, as of last night, there were almost 12,000 videos available on YouTube under the search term, “Iranian election.”

Consider that the top trending topics on Twitter are #Iranelection, #Tehran, #Mousavi, and #Iranians. That’s right. People are not only talking here in the U.S. about what is going on in Iran, the people of Iran are letting the WORLD know about what is happening via social media.

If you go to Flickr and type in any type of search term that is related to the Iranian election you get a stunning amount of results and images that we can all assume that the current Iranian regime would prefer that the world did not see.

iran

Other social media sources that are doing their best to keep the feeds coming are the following:

Facebook

Posterous

HuffPost

Twittbee

Almost

Twazzup

Iran Election

Iranians

Tehran

Iran

Friendfeed:

Amirpix

Iranwatch

Others:

Tehranlive

Global Voices

NetVibes

BBC

A slew of Twitter Accounts:
@alirezasha
@Change_for_Iran
@cnnsaeed
@Gita
@iran09
@iranbaan
@IranNewsNow
@IranRiggedElect
@laraabcnews
@mohamadreza
@mousavi1388
@octavianasrCNN
@Shahrzadmo
@StopAhmadi
@tehranbureau
@tehranelection
@TwitPersia

This list will continue to grow over the next few days and weeks, feel free to share it and add to it. But know this. We all constantly talk about some of the best case uses of social media every day, and in this situation we are seeing the power of social media being utilized to not only enlighten the world, but also empower its citizens in ways that I’m sure were never envisioned by its progenitors.

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3 thoughts on “The role of social media in the Iranian election

  1. Many in the Western World read these stories and feel that we really have a free media and free elections. However our media is forever focused on what is popular to consumers. So if cricket or anything else popular-culture is more popular than election issues, these things receive the coverage, unfortunately. However what’s really ironic is that individual members of a society are not really deciding what is popular but rather the media decides what gets the most coverage and media really dictates what is popular. Albeit individuals have some choice about what to pay attention to – from a limited menu of issues presented by the media – but these “choices” are not necessarily ones that are most important. Missing today is any intellectual debate; however, sites and forums that allow free range user generated content about whatever is of interest can be a step in the right direction where individuals can decide what is important.

  2. Pingback: The Impact of Social Networking on Modern Politics « My Witty Blog Title

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