Twitter About to Get Even More Important in Iran


Here’s what’s going on in Iran: At least seven deaths have now been blamed on yesterday’s clashes, though it’s impossible to know at this point where the true casualty count stands. The Guardian Council has agreed to perform a limited and completely untrustworthy recount. Opposition leader Mousavi tried to cancel a rally planned for the same place and time as an Ahmadinejad rally for fear of violence. And the mainstream media will now find itself even less able to fully cover the ongoing conflict in Iran than before.

This morning Iran’s Culture Ministry stripped all foreign media of their press accreditation and warned that any journalists seen filming or photographing in the streets will be arrested. But all is not lost — luckily, they are still allowed to report from their hotel rooms (about the firmness of their mattresses or the softness of their toilet paper, we guess). Luckily, Twitter is still doing an admirable job of disseminating first-hand — and unconfirmed, and hard to process — accounts from Iranians around the country. In an acknowledgment of how important their website is to the movement in Iran, Twitter’s founders even rescheduled their planned site maintenance after users protested that it would seriously undermine the ability of Iranians to communicate. We’re not tech-savvy enough to understand why the Iranian government hasn’t figured out how to shut Twitter down, but hopefully they never will.