back to article US gov asked Twitter to stay up for Iran protests

On Monday, Twitter delayed a scheduled upgrade so that its micro-blogging service would not be down during daylight hours in Iran, where Tweets have fueled protests against the disputed presidential election. And according to press reports, the delay was requested by the US State Department. "In coordination with Twitter, our …


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  1. Ryan 22
    Black Helicopters is exploding over this

    Fark users have been monitoring twitter and other developments in Iran for a couple days now.

    Here are the links to some of the threads.

  2. jake Silver badge

    ::rolls eyes::

    Why would anyone, anywhere, trust ANY so-called "Web2.0" site for information that is vital to any national cause? Has nobody noticed that these sites are play things, toys? Has nobody noticed that anyone, anywhere on the planet can easily game these sites (and do ... ask Tony LaRussa)?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ryan 22

    Who gives a Fark

  4. Jason Togneri
    Thumb Down

    The real burning question is...

    ... since when did "a" and "p" become legitimate contractions of "am" and "pm"?

    I suppose it's a Twitter thing, they need to squeeze as much as possible into the equivalent of a single SMS. Silly though, why not just use 24-hour clock and you could use an established convention (instead of inventing a stupid-looking bastardisation of one) and still use exactly as many - or, indeed, fewer - characters. Such as 0012 (four characters) instead of 0:12a (five characters) or 2345 (four characters) instead of 11:45p (six characters). And don't give me that crap about "not everybody is familiar with 24-hour time", that might have worked in the '80s but it just isn't true anymore.

  5. gjw
    Jobs Horns

    The question is...

    What would happen if there were massive riots in the USA? Would they be asked to do some 'prolonged maintenance' in order to 'fight terrorism'?

    Good thing Obama seems to distance himself from it.

    Horned Steve for obvious reasons.

  6. Rob Crawford

    AM / PM

    The non use of the 24 hour clock and using the a & p is just certain geographical regions, insisting that they will hang their traditional methods (while claiming that they are modern)

    It's like dates :

    Japanese : year, month, day; makes a lot of sense each number narrowing the your search from right to left

    European : day, month, year; This is how humans work and can be read in reverse order to give some Japanese style logic

    US : month, day year; WTF it's wrong when read on either direction and only works for filing invoices

  7. Max Jalil
    Black Helicopters

    So who controls the truth 2.0?

    I wonder if that is the ONLY influence the US gov has on the new media given their history in this region. Censorship is not the only way to alter perceptions.


  8. Anonymous Coward

    Twitter is guff and we all know it

    If the UK is anything to go by then for each real follower, there are a hundred followers who've only logged in once.

    Also, I strongly suspect that most of the followers of these tweets are in fact living outside Iran.

  9. Greg J Preece

    Western impartiality on Iranian elections?


    While I appreciate the events and sentiments in Iran, I don't doubt for a second that we're getting a very one-sided view of these results. Does this really come as a surprise?

  10. EdwardP


    What information are we discussing here? Vital to a national cause hey?

    Organising dissent is hard when nobody knows it's happening. Of course Twitter messages (Twits?) are public, thats the bloody point.

    "Has nobody noticed that these sites are play things, toys?"

    I'll bite. Which sites in particular?

    Comment belongs on:

  11. Chris 267

    As and Ps

    @jason, I think the use of 'a' and 'p' instead of 'am' and 'pm' is an American thing. A lot of their news sites use the convention, and I note that the author of this piece is American.

    It doesn't really work here. 1p is unambiguously a hundredth of a pound, not one o'clock in the afternoon.

  12. madhatt3r
    Thumb Up


    I don't know bout you Jack but I found twitter tremendously useful on finding out what was going on in Iran at a real-time pace (around 10 tweets per second). No media outlet could let us know anything, maybe due to the crippling of telecoms or because they didn't want to get involved. Twitter actually bring us the small voices of the people in the streets, the paintings on the walls, and it's proving very very useful in this popular revolution/fight for democracy. I am not a web 2.0 evangelist but I can see very valid points where twitter has its usefulness, I only wish no big media outlet/corporation buys it for that will be the end of this kind of usage. These (Iran elections) very days twitter is actually making the technology be useful for humanity, instead of lining the fat cat pockets.

    If many people are tweetting about the same thing, one would think there must be some truth, or at least he/she would pay attention and acknowledge there is something going on in there.

  13. Graham Wood


    There was an interesting shift recently in the coverage by the BBC on News 24. The emphasis changed from 'this is a valid protest, the election was wrong' to 'this is the protest of a lot of people that claim the election was wrong'.

    The initial attitude of the BBC was definitely biased in a really obvious way - and I must admit it lowered my (already) damaged opinion of them. They seem to be going a lot more for the sensational rather than the "objective facts" that I grew up thinking I was getting... Maybe they've always been this bad, and I'm just noticing it more?

  14. TimNevins

    Getting your own house in order first

    So the GOP stole the 2000 US Elections and then Deibold delivered the 2004 Elections to the GOP again using electronic votes with no paper audit trail.

    Not as single media outlet anywhere covered this vote fraud. Reporters were told if they questioned the discrepancy they would be fired. Go search for "2004 Vote Fraud" and you find plenty of information. Including the overnight detention of protesters in a toxic waterfront warehouse during the GOP Convention.

    Do as I say not as I do.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    A spy's wet dream

    Just remember, Twitter, like email, is the single most easily monitored (by police/spy agencies) communication medium on the planet. If you send an email or tweet that crosses an international border, you can bet that at least two spy agencies have had computers sift through your communication. If your email or tweet has not crossed an international border, it's most likely still been sifter through by at least one spy agencies computer system.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. TeeCee Gold badge

    It can't last.

    I'm guessing that if they're resorting to Tw@ter because other forms of communication are banned / controlled, then Tw@ter itself'll be cut off in Iran in fairly short order.

    Next week: International shock as Iran jumps to top of "most desirable country to live in" tables. Immunity from inescapable and continuous drizzle of utter bollocks outweighs risk of beheading, stoning, amputation, nuclear war and inability to get a beer.

  18. disgruntled yank


    There is some built-in bias in most media (media qua tools, not journalists), don't you think ? In the US 2004 elections, blogging was going to transform everything and send the GHWB back to Crawford. In the US 2008 elections, the journalists, with a New York bias, managed to persuade themselves that Giuliani was a credible candidate for the Republican nomination, a truly strange assertion to believe.

    I had certainly rather see Moussavi running Iran, but I suspect that the Twittering population prefers him out of proportion to the population at large.

    @Jason: posted at seven bells, 29 Prairial 217.

  19. Peyton


    Psh, everyone knows astrological sign is supremely important in characterizing a person or event, so month is obviously more important than year or day.

  20. John 76

    And the US government also tries to disconnect Iran from t'Internet

    The US Government won't trade with Iran, not will it allow US citizens, or anyone in the US to trade with Iran. This includes Internet connectivity. So it's 30 years in Federal jail if you sell Internet connectivity to the Iranians, yet we keep on getting these stories suggesting the State Dept is also encouraging the use of the Internet for psyops/free press/propaganda. Make your mind up please.

  21. PPPie


    Really so many better things to do in life than frequent a loser site like Twatter. Same goes for MoronBook.

  22. jake Silver badge

    @misc. folks

    Twitter is only useful to the Iranian cause until the authorities get wind of it. At that point, they will fill it with pro-PTB twits. The whole "social networking" thing is useless for fact gathering because it's intrinsically anonymous. Anyone can post anything anywhere while posing as anyone. Such sites should be considered entertainment only, not factual news sources. This includes ElReg.

    Remember, when three meet to discuss revolution, two are fools & the third is a police spy ...

  23. Anonymous Coward

    regarding the elections...

    Pretty heavy case for them being [overwhelmingly] fraudulent.

    Check the following:

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