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Twitter and Iran: A case study for the world

It is predictable. Case studies and articles will be written about the role Twitter is playing in the Iranian protests of late. This is a fascinating topic, but has Twitter’s role been transformative? Or is this another example of social media supporting other forms of communication?

Business Week points out that there is little proof that Twitter has helped organize the protests that are creating such vivid video and photos. Word-of-mouth and text messaging is have a greater impact on the organizing inside Iran.

But there is no doubt Twitter has been used to communicate news around the globe. This Business Week article reports that the coverage even is part of the reform candidate’s media relations strategy. Get Twitter involved and the media cover the role of social media, as well as the hard breaking news. Two articles for the price of one.

One of the signficant outcomes from social media’s role in the Iranian demonstrations is the knowledge that word will get out, no matter the restrictions placed on the dissemination of information.

“Governments like Iran, Syria, and Egypt are really struggling with how to continue limiting information,”  Reva Bhalla, director of analysis for Austin (Tex.)-based Stratfor, a strategic intelligence and forecasting company, told reporter Joel Schectman of Business Week. “No matter how hard these governments try to block communication, now there is always going to be a hole. This really is a case study in how technology can affect closed societies.”

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