Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I'm slowing becoming accustomed to Twitter. For so long, I wasn't sure I "got" it - why it was created, it's purpose, the protocol, and especially it's impact. But today it hit me - today, reading #iranelection and #Tehran.

Twitter is currently the ONLY mode of information sharing for the people in Iran. I don't know how much of it is accurate, but it is really the only way people in Iran are giving and getting information outside of that country. But inaccuracies are not getting past the savvy (understatement!) Tweeters. This post keeps coming up so people keep ReTweeting (RT) it: "RT IGNORE AND BLOCK @serv_ and @tellsecret. serv_ is spreading misinformation. Possible Iranian Gov thug. Pls RT." or this: "Those who are coming in late to the topic. Be Advised: Not Everyone is what they claim. Use sound judgment."

Iranian internet connections, television, radio, and any other kind of media have been shut down. Most reporters have been kicked out of the country, or worse. But thank God (or Mohammed, or Allah or whomever you'd like) for Twitter.

I am amazed at the amount of Tweets that come in every few seconds. EVERY FEW SECONDS. Real time. Pictures, cell phone videos. The rest of the world has to know what is going on, and they are REALLY interested - they want to know, and they want to know NOW. Yes, you can read the news online, or watch the news when you get home from work, but how much will you see or hear? On Twitter, you are getting constant information. If you want it, it's there.

The amount of Tweeters who are commenting, reacting, and showing solidarity with the Iranian people is beyond comprehension. I couldn't figure out why so many profile pictures were shaded green until I realized it was to support the people.

Some examples of supportive Tweets:

  • Also, RT from others: Help Iranians: set twitter location to TEHRAN, GMT +3.30. If all become 'Iranians' harder 2 find
  • Just changed my location to Tehran. If it makes it harder for Iranian govt to find Iranian Twitters - good enough for me.
  • Let us all wear green on Friday in solidarity with protesters in Tehran
  • RT Today at 1 p.m., two more journalists arrested in Iran, Reporters w/o borders. Don't stop tweeting!!
  • Please retweet: just signed petition 'Google Earth to update satellite images of Tehran

and my favorite so far:

  • Twitter allows the truth to flow like water around over and through any mediums possible that wish to stop it.

I have 15 followers on Twitter - which in the Twitter world is less than a grain of sand on the beach. And most of 24 people I follow are either friends, social groups near where I live, my Yankees, or TV personalities who I like. And most of what I say to my Tweeps or hear from them is pretty trivial. That's just me. Because I'm THANKFULLY not living in a country of civil unrest, anarchy, chaos, danger.

Twitter can be trivial. But maybe, after reading this, those of you who think Twitter is just so that you can Tweet that you are pouring milk in your coffee and need to stop at the grocery store tonight, maybe you will think again.