The death of the “twitter rev­o­lu­tion” and the struggle over internet narratives

By Donya Alinejad In her latest speech on internet freedom, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared the internet the “town square” of the 21st cen­tury. Clinton seized on the wide­spread atten­tion for Facebook during the Egyptian rev­o­lu­tion and used the oppor­tu­nity to reit­erate internet-oriented US for­eign policy. Just days ear­lier the Egyptian people had ousted Hosni Mubarak, their dic­tator of 30 years. Cairo’s Tahrir Square had been occu­pied by pro­testers, stained with the blood of the revolution’s mar­tyrs, and gained iconic status as the center of the 21st century’s most pop­u­lous rev­o­lu­tionary move­ment. Soon after, pro­testers in Libya named the …

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Iran elections(2): hitting the tweets

In her earlier post on this weblog, Donya pointed to remarkable transgressions on the eve of the national elections in Iran. In the public protests following the elections we see another major innovation: the unprecedented use of new digital media. The newest digital tools for social networking, especially Twitter and Facebook, turn out to be crucial means to mobilize people and report events to the outside world, as Newsy.com points out in this video: This raises important questions for anthropologists. What role can new media play in making political agitation effective?

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