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Geek by profession, thinker/writer/artist by passion. Part-time blogger,social media enthusiast and a tramp by nature :) A Man Of Mud


Monday, June 15, 2009

Tweeting a revolution or is it a black operation ?

For the past 24 hours #Iranelection and hash tags related to Iranian election has been trending on Twitter . What it essentially means, (for those unfamiliar with Twitter) is that the election in Iran and its fallout are the most talked about topic on Twitter. We have already seen the profound impact 1 that Twitter has had on socio-political events in the past but this could be the biggest one considering the fact that the mainstream media was late in reporting the protests and has since been lagging behind the micro-blogging service. ( Please check out, Dear CNN, Please Check Twitter For News About Iran )

However, what really intrigues me is the question, whether the protest in Iran truly reflects the aspiration of the nation as a whole or is just a partisan struggle fueled by external powers. Once again the sources of most these news are either almost anonymous twitterers or those belonging to the opposition camp. The truth perhaps lies somewhere in between, the call for probe by Ayotallah Khameini indicates it. Ironically, Ashton Kucher, who has the largest following in Twitter, has likened the issue to the controversy around G.W. Bush's electoral victory in 2000!

Either way it is Iran's internal issue, it is, after all, the only country in the region that has some sort of democracy (that has not been forced on). So why is the global social media so obsessed with Iranian election results ? I guess it has more to do with the fact that the West is not comfortable with the fact that a hardliner like Ahmadinejad came so close to defeat and still survive. Of course, i am just speculating that he survived but anyway, this was an opportunity that a lot of people would have hated to let go of. That would also explain why the opposition is on the street but euphemisms like "tweeting revolution", coming from American and West European "social media activists" seem to me part of propaganda warfare in the lines of black operations. Only this time the agenda has been outsourced to the crowd populating the social web. John Robb has in his earlier blog posts discussed various 4GW strategies and manoeuvres that the US could adopt to bring down Iran, some of the proposed ones have been black operations of these nature.

At this juncture ishould confess that i don't have much love for Ahmadinejad nor for the ruling elite of Iran, but i cannot deny the fact that he has considerable support from the Iranian electorate as the numerous pro-Ahmadinejad demonstrations indicate. So all talks of freedom and democracy by activists on web sound hollow when one considers the fact that there was hardly any murmur of protest when China banned nearly all major web sites and services on the anniversary of the Tianmen massacre. Similarly, the torch-bearers of liberty and democracy were conspicuously silent when just few weeks back the Burmese junta filed fresh case against the famous Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi just days before her 13 year old detention was about to expire! As i have already mentioned what we are witnessing might well be a crowdsourced black operation, not unlike propaganda warfare except for the fact that in this instance its far too decentralized and viral in nature. The majority of the participants may actually have no clue about the underlying agenda if at all there is one !

1. Twitter one hour maintenance downtime has been postponed as demanded by bloggers/twitterers.