Social Media Feeds Iran Resistance

Mir Hossein Mousavi میر حسین موسوی میرحسین موسوی: در کنار مردم خواهم مان Facebook pageدIf Czechoslovakia 1989 was the Velvet Revolution, Iran ’09 is the Twitter Revolution.

This is when Facebook is more powerful than the Ayatollah, when YouTube replaces CNN, when the Twitter stream #IranElection replaces Associated Press. With tape recorders, cell phones, video cams, cameras, and computers Iranian protesters are battling tear gas and truncheons and bullets. Mousavi’s willingness to embrace martyrdom  was conveyed via Twitter – his moves are transmitted through his Facebook page: 

Great single source for constantly updated news from Iran aggregated from multiple social media channels:  The Lede, The New York Times News Blog.

Twitter: @nytimeskristof All hail the Iranian photographers braving the streets! Great pix at

See Twitter on the Barricades: Six Lessons Learned, NYTimes, 6/21/2009

Update NYTimes, The Lede, Saturday, June 20, 4:54 p.m. New York Times Op-Ed columnist Roger Cohen was out on Tehran’s streets on Saturday and has filed this account of what he witnessed. Here is some of what he reports:

I also know that Iran’s women stand in the vanguard. For days now, I’ve seen them urging less courageous men on. I’ve seen them get beaten and return to the fray. “Why are you sitting there?” one shouted at a couple of men perched on the sidewalk on Saturday. “Get up! Get up!”

Another green-eyed woman, Mahin, aged 52, staggered into an alley clutching her face and in tears. Then, against the urging of those around her, she limped back into the crowd moving west toward Freedom Square. Cries of “Death to the dictator!” and “We want liberty!” accompanied her.

There were people of all ages. I saw an old man on crutches, middle-aged office workers and bands of teenagers. Unlike the student revolts of 2003 and 1999, this movement is broad. [...]

Later, as night fell over the tumultuous capital, from rooftops across the city, the defiant sound of “Allah-u-Akbar” — “God is Great” — went up yet again, as it has every night since the fraudulent election, but on Saturday it seemed stronger.


  1. JWilliams says:

    To echo what I said in a similar comment ( it is important to remember that – although it brings a new facet of ‘news’ to the audience – new media is a supplement and should only be taken as part of a healthy and balanced news diet. In the case of Iran (like other citizen journalist reports) the audience is consuming a particular view, perspective or opinion. Is there a danger in this? Yes. New media broadcasts aren’t made under journalistic traditions of fair, objective and balanced reporting. In other words, they are bias. And if one thing is clear, new media has the ability to turn (bias) opinion into consensus very quickly. And there’s nothing like consensus to spark reaction.

  2. Mark Rose says:

    ‘Established’ media has its own history of skewed, unfair reporting but essentially you are right – bloggers do little or no original reporting, they comment or repackage what they have already heard. In Iran they perform a more valuable function – they bring events to us that we would not have seen. They are not commenting, the are chronicling street demonstrations, beatings, killings. They not only inform the rest of the world, they spark their own events.

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