“This is it. The big one. This is the first revolution that has been catapulted onto a global stage and transformed by social media,” says Clay Shirky, professor at New York University and author of the book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. And whatâ€™s had the greatest impact? â€œItâ€™s Twitter,â€ says Shirky.
So starts my piece in Crikey yesterday, Weâ€™re all wearing green for Iran now, apparently.
The article covers two main points.
One, this isnâ€™t really the first time demonstrations have been organised or teargas reported via Twitter. Try Bangkok in October 2008. Try ChiÅŸinÄƒu in April 2009. And as Business Week pointed out, A Twitter revolution? Hardly.
Two, people are changing their avatars green to “support democracy in Iran” based on very little information. And as commenter Rena Zurawel claimed:
Whether it is a Rose Revolution in Georgia, or Orange Revolution in the Ukraine or a Green revolution in Iran — the source and inspiration is exactly the same: $70 million decided by the Congress to spend on so called “democratic changes in Iran”.
That last point intrigued me, so I poked around a bit.
I found this 2008 report from STRATFOR Global Intelligence: Geopolitical Diary: Iran, Psywar and the Hersh Article… which is reproduced in full over the jump.
Continue reading “Psywar in Iran”
[This article was originally published in Crikey on Tuesday 17 February, but behind the paywall. I think enough time has passed for it to sneak out â€” particularly as one commenter called it “the most unworthy article Crikey has ever published”. Thanks.]
Cool newcomer. Rising talent. Thatâ€™s Greens Senator Scott Ludlam as described by Crikeyâ€™s Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane last year. Heâ€™s right, too.
Yesterday [Monday] I explained how Senator Stephen Conroy popped out of his lair, announced (some of) the ISPs in the internet “filtering” trials, and scurried away — leaving everyoneâ€™s questions unanswered. Perhaps he hoped the story would be buried by discussions of bushfires and the stimulus package. But no.
In an op-ed piece for ABC News yesterday, Senator Ludlam nailed why. “The interwebs never sleep,” he reminds us.
Within minutes of Conroyâ€™s 5.25pm media release, Twitter was, well, aâ€™twitter with speculation and then analysis. Within hours, without any central control, a consensus emerged about what the choice of ISPs meant. With its focus on small business-oriented ISPs, the trials wonâ€™t reflect the realities of home internet usage, and the government can string out the process just a little bit longer.
“Senator Conroy is trapped by something akin to a virtual hydra,” writes Ludlam.
Continue reading “Crikey: Outclassed Conroy hides in his bedroom”