The power of tweet

by Frank Paynter on July 2, 2009

“Does Twitter dumb us down or simply reveal our innate goofiness?” asks Nick Carr this week at his blog, Rough Type. In partial answer he points us to Gideon Rachman’s column in the Financial Times. Mr. Rachman says, “Twitter is a compendium of banalities. But in Iran, the medium’s terseness and immediacy came into its own.”

To my knowledge, nobody has surfaced the very real and likely possibility that twitter, an intelligence service’s wet dream, was used in Iran for something nefarious. A brute force analysis of the data presented in the Web Ecology Project’s report, “The Iranian Election of Twitter” might reveal the existence of agents provocateur agitating and inciting opposition to the Persian leadership. Who benefits? There’s an awful lot of coffee in Brazil oil in Iran.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Doug Alder July 3, 2009 at 11:49

To my knowledge, nobody has surfaced the very real and likely possibility that twitter, an intelligence service’s wet dream, was used in Iran for something nefarious.

au contraire Frank- it was mentioned in numerous tweets that the Iranian secret service were both monitoring the tweets and acting as agent provocateurs. No doubt the Iranian opposition in exile, and any other country with a stake in that election were doing the same.

My take, and I should have written this some time ago, is that Twitter is a completely unreliable tool for political change as the source of any tweet can not be verified for veracity of content or reliability of source.

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Frank Paynter July 3, 2009 at 3:17

I’m thinking it’s a natural for agitprop (from both leftists and rightists). Use of the internet for agitation and propaganda: “Gadgetprop?”

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