Daily Digest | Iran Protests Phase 2: The Web Fights Back
BY Editors | Tuesday, June 16 2009
- Engaging in Iran, from Miles and Miles Away Cable news empowered us to see in near real-time the events taking places in lands separated from us by thousands of miles and entire oceans. Then came Web 2.0, the ethos evolved into not just watching, but doing something. We developed an expectation that we could, using our new tools, blur the line between observers and participants. Nancy details a handful of different actions that are bubbling out of the online mix as ways to engage in Iran from afar.
- On The Weaponization of the Collaborative Web Yesterday, Matthew Burton, along with countless others, tried to bring down the websites of Iran's information and justice ministries, and state-sponsored media outlets. The idea was to silence the pro-Ahmadenijad, anti-dissent messages coming from these outlets, and in so doing, strengthen the opposition protests in Tehran. But is citizen-based online warfare ethical?
- Tehran's Twitter Blackout, Averted Twitter, you might have heard, is being heavily utilized to push out information from Tehran, circulate it around the globe, and aggregate commentary from outside Iran looking in. That's why when Twitter Inc., the small San Francisco-based company, tweeted word yesterday of a two-hour "maintenance window" scheduled for 9:45pm Pacific time in the U.S. -- mid-morning Tehran time -- the reaction was fast and furious.
- Tweets from Tehran? Understanding How Twitter Handles Location Here's one point worth keeping in mind if your methods for keeping tabs on what's taking place in Iran include using Twitter's Advanced Search feature set to aggregate tweets from within, say, 250 miles of Tehran. The feature is itself rather neat: you can filter tweets by language and even use Google Translate to make sense of messages in languages you can't technically read. Still, it makes sense to pause and note that Twitter location is, in a great many cases, unreliable.
- The Dawning of Internet Censorship in Germany And now a word from Germany: the country is on the verge of censoring its Internet. The government –- a grand coalition between the German Social Democrats and Conservative party –- seems united in its decision: On Thursday the parliament is to vote on the erection of an internet censorship architecture.
- The Competitive Approach to Growing Data.gov U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra reportedly said at Wired's Disruptive by Design conference in New York this week that government agencies are "competing to be top data.gov contributor." This idea, that government innovation can come from intramural competition, is one that we've seen the Obama White House experimenting with. Can this clever approach to open government work?
- A Look at Facebook in '08 House Races Two Bentley University professors have been tracking politics and technology through a series of reports, are out with a new working paper on the use of Facebook in '08 House races. They examined more than 800 campaigns, and came away with a few conclusions, including that Democrats do better than Republicans and video is vastly underutilized.
- The Philosophical Significance of Twitter: Consciousness Outfolding As with any new phenomenon, a wave of curiosity, criticism, mockery, and adulation follows. The Twitter meta wave is cresting. As Peter Daou writes, in the larger picture, the most intriguing thing about Twitter is not how it is different from other online communication mechanisms, but how it is the same: one more technological innovation enabling the outfolding of consciousness -- the collective turning-outward of human thought.