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Twitter Offers Little on Iran Election

Updated on June 18, 2009

I have read several articles, as many of you likely have as well, going on about the amazing technological advantage that Twitter has given the election demonstrations in Iran. With no outside reporters, Twitter is giving people a precious lifeline to get information out to the rest of the world. People are flocking to Twitter to get the real-time news that exists nowhere else.


Have any of these journalists who rave about Twitter actually read any of the tweets that involve the Iranian election? It's 90% crap out there. Crap, garbage and hogwash in fact. So many people have jumped on the bandwagon in a desperate attempt to somehow be part of something bigger than themselves, that the entire process is being smothered.

I having been reading the tweets with #iranelection as a hashtag, and have learned virtually NOTHING in the process. Sure, thousands of tweets are being posted ever minute, but most of them are the same thing over and over and over again as people "re-tweet". People post URLs to existing news articles, but offer no real new information. The same photos are circulating over and over.

And then people start adding "CONFIRMED" to questionable tweets, as though having a total stranger say that another total stranger is legit makes it all true. And then more tweets come out saying that the supposedly confirmed bit of information is actually a ploy by the Iranian government to spread misinformation. Then people start questioning other accounts, wondering who can be trusted. Twitter and Facebook accounts are possibly (or possibly not) hacked and compromised.

To further complicate matters, people are changing their Twitter profiles to make it look like they are in Tehran, supposedly to help confuse any government agents who are tracking Iranian Twitterers. People are stripping names out of their "re-tweets" to protect people in Iran. Which basically means that nobody can tell who anyone else is, where anyone is reporting from, or who said anything in the first place.

It's an utter useless paranoid traffic wreck.

That anyone considers this a viable and important venue for anything is ridiculous.

I don't really have a point here other than to maybe get people to smarten up and not blindly assume what they see or hear in the news is true. I mean this twofold. First, the news outlets who are reporting about what an asset Twitter has become without actually looking into what Twitter is offering. And secondly, all the thousands of Twitterers who keep passing on "news" without a second thought. It's like the whole world is playing that telephone whisper game, and only gibberish is coming out at the end.


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    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

      I think what you are saying is quite true... but it is sort of a fragile lifeline, (maybe just a thread that will not save anything) that has never been available before.

      No one in Tianamen Square had this. Over the centuries there have been many revolts against injustice. Most of them have been quickly squashed by overpowering force and no one heard about it until much later, if at all.