History has always been written by the victors. In the distant past this was often because no survivors of the losing side were left alive to tell.
These days the advent of broadcast technology has allowed for both sides to get their stories to the masses.
When the fallout of the Iranian elections was happening, the Iranian government tried to stop the spread of news by attempting to block access to these broadcast media, text, mobile phones and the internet.
Twitter emerged as a key conduit for locals to be able to get 140 character snippets of information out, uncensored and definitely not what the government wanted people to hear.
Reading tweets today (24th Sept 09) saw a proliferation of people talking about the police actions against protesters in Pittsburgh.
Accompanied by a lot of the tweets were links to video and news stories covering the event. Youtube carried plenty of videos made by people at the locations where demonstrations were being held.
This widespread saturation of user generated content means that government officials, the police and others involved in these confrontations are more exposed than ever to what happens and the ensuing debate and discussion will have real evidence (especially video) to back up claims from either side.
Propaganda is much more difficult in these days of Twitter, Youtube and Civilian Reporters.
No one knows if “Persian Kiwi” or PK has any connections to New Zealand, however, it has definitely captured the attention of some media in New Zealand.
What it doe though is highlight how Twitter has become a key issue in Iran.
With the Iranian Government stopping the access to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, users have been determined to find ways of accessing these sites via proxies around the world.
Now it looks possibly like those who have succeeded in making it past the censorship gates are now being hunted by the government.
It shows how as time moves on and things progress, the same things happen in more modern ways.
I love this song by the Propellerheads (with the amazing Shirley Bassey) call History Repeating, where the key phrase is:
I’ve seen it before….and i’ll see it again
For Twitter, read Pirate Radio, read Rock n Roll.
The message will get out, Twitter is just the current medium.
One key difference is the access and the huge ability to disseminate information widely around the world.
Access because you can post to Twitter via your mobile phone or anywhere with internet access (providing you can circumvent the blocks)
And the ability to disseminate the information via the internet is so huge these days, and the inherent nature of the social networking sites makes this even easier for viral explosions of news and current affairs