Twitter breaks through during Iran protests

Has Twitter, the ubiquitous social networking site where brevity is required and conversations occur with warp speed, finally grown up to affect events?

It would seem so if one considers that Twitter was the only social networking site that didn't go dark during the Iranian government's crackdown on the internet and protestors and observers alike were flashing tweets back and forth about what was happening in the streets.

The phenomena even began to affect news coverage as Brian Stelter of the New York Times reports that the news nets "took the weekend off" while all hell was breaking loose in Tehran and posters on Twitter by the tens of thousands, noticed it:

Untold thousands used the label "CNNfail" on Twitter to vent their frustrations. Steve LaBate, an Atlanta resident, said on Twitter, "Why aren't you covering this with everything you've got?" About the same time, CNN was showing a repeat of Larry King's interview of the stars of the "American Chopper" show. For a time, new criticisms were being added on Twitter at least once a second.

Andrew Sullivan, a blogger for The Atlantic, wrote, "There's a reason the MSM is in trouble," using the blogosphere abbreviation for mainstream media.

CNN said, "We share people's expectations of CNN and have delivered far more coverage of the Iranian election and aftermath than any other network."

Journalists in Tehran were working in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions. The BBC said its correspondent John Simpson and a camera operator had been briefly arrested after filming in the streets. Jim Sciutto, an ABC News correspondent in Tehran, said that the police had confiscated a camera and footage. "We are shooting protests and police violence on our cellphones," he wrote on Twitter.

Some Americans relied on British networks. A report from Channel 4 was spread widely on the Internet. In the video, the correspondent Lindsey Hilsum said of Iran, "I feel like I went to sleep in one country and woke up in another.

Less than half the population of Iran has access to the internet. But that didn't stop the Twitterers from organizing a protest that involved people standing on their rooftops shouting "Alaah O Akbar" until well past dawn.

Some social networking experts believe that Twitter has limited use due to the fact that you can use no more than 140 characters in your tweet. Judging by what occurred in Tehran and elsewhere in Iran over the weekend, they may have to rethink that analysis.


Has Twitter, the ubiquitous social networking site where brevity is required and conversations occur with warp speed, finally grown up to affect events?

It would seem so if one considers that Twitter was the only social networking site that didn't go dark during the Iranian government's crackdown on the internet and protestors and observers alike were flashing tweets back and forth about what was happening in the streets.

The phenomena even began to affect news coverage as Brian Stelter of the New York Times reports that the news nets "took the weekend off" while all hell was breaking loose in Tehran and posters on Twitter by the tens of thousands, noticed it:

Untold thousands used the label "CNNfail" on Twitter to vent their frustrations. Steve LaBate, an Atlanta resident, said on Twitter, "Why aren't you covering this with everything you've got?" About the same time, CNN was showing a repeat of Larry King's interview of the stars of the "American Chopper" show. For a time, new criticisms were being added on Twitter at least once a second.

Andrew Sullivan, a blogger for The Atlantic, wrote, "There's a reason the MSM is in trouble," using the blogosphere abbreviation for mainstream media.

CNN said, "We share people's expectations of CNN and have delivered far more coverage of the Iranian election and aftermath than any other network."

Journalists in Tehran were working in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions. The BBC said its correspondent John Simpson and a camera operator had been briefly arrested after filming in the streets. Jim Sciutto, an ABC News correspondent in Tehran, said that the police had confiscated a camera and footage. "We are shooting protests and police violence on our cellphones," he wrote on Twitter.

Some Americans relied on British networks. A report from Channel 4 was spread widely on the Internet. In the video, the correspondent Lindsey Hilsum said of Iran, "I feel like I went to sleep in one country and woke up in another.

Less than half the population of Iran has access to the internet. But that didn't stop the Twitterers from organizing a protest that involved people standing on their rooftops shouting "Alaah O Akbar" until well past dawn.

Some social networking experts believe that Twitter has limited use due to the fact that you can use no more than 140 characters in your tweet. Judging by what occurred in Tehran and elsewhere in Iran over the weekend, they may have to rethink that analysis.