6 minute read

The next time somebody cracks wise about Twitter, points to the vast numbers of Twitter Orphan Accounts, or otherwise belittles it, I will point them to this Twitter Blog posting:

A critical network upgrade must be performed to ensure continued operation of Twitter. In coordination with Twitter, our network host had planned this upgrade for tonight. However, our network partners at NTT America recognize the role Twitter is currently playing as an important communication tool in Iran. Tonight's planned maintenance has been rescheduled to tomorrow between 2-3p PST (1:30a in Iran).

As much as I fear what happens after the honeymoon with SMS and social media under repressive governments, currently they provide an amazing tool for immediate news even during crisis, citizen voice and discussion.

Update: The State Department is now involved; https://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2009/06/16/state-department-to-twitter-keep-iranian-tweets-coming/ :

By necessity, the US is staying hands off of the election drama playing out in Iran, and officials say they are not providing messages to Iranians or “quarterbacking” the disputed election process. But they do want to make sure the technology is able to play its sorely-needed role in the crisis, which is why the State Department is advising social networking sites to make sure their networks stay up and running for Iranians to use them and helping them stay ahead of anyone who would try to shut them down. For example, senior officials say the State Department asked Twitter to refrain for going down for periodic scheduled maintenance at this critical time to ensure the site continues to operate. Bureau’s and offices across the State Department, they say, are paying very close attention to Twitter and other sites to get information on the situation in Iran.

Archived Comments

  • Personally, I feel that much of the belittling is due to those that make direct comparisons between Twitter and traditional media, such as the news. These comparisons fail in the minds of many because Twitter is NOT like traditional sources, and in my mind, does not serve as a replacement, as some have called for. In the case of the #IranElection, Twitter was great at getting the word out and building momentum, but for me, it did not replace “news.” For me, news entails not just facts, but context and analysis. Do I know and trust the sources of news? How do I assess bias? How do I know that what I’m seeing isn’t the result of some type of viral marketing? I, and many others can’t digest all of this in 140 character bites. So, I think Twitter is useful and serves an important niche, but it should not be sold as a replacement for slower and denser forms of communication. /curmudgeon In other news, I haven’t forgotten to say hi when I’m downtown–I just haven’t been there! – FB commenter
  • I mostly agree, but the media seems to be missing the point that they have a market to fill (good, reliable analysis) and are (well, most of them) failing to market themselves thusly. I’d also posit that the MSM needs to find a way to address immediate/crisis events that balances the need for speed with accuracy/bias concerns (perhaps by nothing more complicated than making it clear that the sources are potentially misinformation and/or biased) – Jon Tue, 06/16/2009 - 13:31
  • Although I do much respect your opinion about tiwtter I do think that you are a little bit wrong. twitter has its best time right now and nothing there is nothing left to twitt. personally i don’t see much of sense in it but it might be a good marketing tool. Best regards! – Phoenix Mon, 06/29/2009 - 09:35
  • I fully agree with you. How can we trust the stories, which are heard on a half and wiredrawn on the other half? We need sources that are verifiable and filtered. – nizova Fri, 07/24/2009 - 06:42
  • Twitter is great social and marketing network, no matter the uses that some people give it, if is currently playing as an important communication tool in Iran is because they need them, that is not twitter fault, tomorrow will be another network, cant be all down – bloggerdragon Thu, 07/16/2009 - 21:12