In "The Virtual Mosque," Friedman writes:
What is fascinating to me is the degree to which in Iran today — and in Lebanon — the more secular forces of moderation have used technologies like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, blogging and text-messaging as their virtual mosque, as the place they can now gather, mobilize, plan, inform and energize their supporters, outside the grip of the state.Adds Jarvis:
For the first time, the moderates, who were always stranded between authoritarian regimes that had all the powers of the state and Islamists who had all the powers of the mosque, now have their own place to come together and project power: the network. The Times reported that Moussavi’s fan group on Facebook alone has grown to more than 50,000 members. That’s surely more than any mosque could hold — which is why the government is now trying to block these sites.
Of course, Twitter - and Facebook and blogs and camera phones - alone cannot win a revolution. They cannot protect their users from government’s bullets and jails, as we have seen all to tragically in Iran. ... Fighting for freedom requires courage and risk we must not underestimate. But at least these tools allow allies to find each other and to let the world know of their plight. For thanks to the fact that anyone in the world - outside of North Korea - now has a printing press and a broadcast tower, they can be assured that the whole world is watching.Also see:
- "How Twitter Creates Social Bonds with the Iranian Protesters" on Reportr.net.
- New York Times slide show
- Twitter Lessons on Revolution
- MediaShift on Iran's Citizen Journalists
- Twitter and Personal Branding
(Photo credit: "Iran Protests for 5th Straight Day" by .faramarz, courtesy of Flickr.com)