Saturday, June 20, 2009

One Small Way You Can Help the Iranians Bloggers

Iranian bloggers and those using Twitter or Facebook to keep the rest of the world and their fellow citizens abreast of what's going on there can use your help in protecting them from the state's thugs set out to shut them down. This one simple thing that you can do from where you are will help them. From Obsidian Wings:
Help cover the bloggers: change your twitter settings so that your location is TEHRAN and your time zone is GMT +3.30. Security forces are hunting for bloggers using location and timezone searches. If we all become ‘Iranians’ it becomes much harder to find them.
I've heard that changing your Facebook settings can help as well. It takes just a moment and you can easily later change them back.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Carla said...

Does anyone know how to change the facebook settings? I'm trying as I write.

6/20/2009 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger Carla said...

Nevermind, I'm in Tehran now, and it's an obvious route by changing networks.

6/20/2009 10:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Gam said...

Individual disconnect within the digital distance.

It was easy to upload the stuff, I just wanted to share it with my friends, now I am being sued for millions in copyright violations.

Is the ability to offer support to the Iranians similar to this example? Do we think: It is trivial and easy to do, so the ramifications are bound to be minimal. … Has adequate consideration been given to the possibility of a foreign government getting your name placed onto the no fly list so the airlines now won’t allow you to travel on that flight to DeMoine ?

Don’t get me wrong; supporting what you believe in should be sacrosanct. What I am asking is, does the perceived anonymity of the digital domain mislead us into ignoring the potential consequences from an action that is divorced by such a digital distance from its outcome in reality? This keystroke versus dying in the streets ambiguity is part of our digital epoch. The consequences of an action are seemingly divorced from its benign beginnings.

How do we negotiate a world where what we do, seems unconnected from its results, in terms of individual responsibility? How do we understand history when we can no longer point to the bureaucrat who scheduled the trains to Treblinka and say how couldn’t you know!??

Again this isn’t questioning the legitimacy of supporting Iranians, it is questioning the possible disconnect between a negligible action (the touch screen stroke) versus the resulting life critical action. How do we keep our actions as part of the consequence in a digital epoch?

6/22/2009 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Has adequate consideration been given to the possibility of a foreign government getting your name placed onto the no fly list so the airlines now won’t allow you to travel on that flight to DeMoine ?

If I have to explain my actions to the government to get off that no fly list, it's obviously a larger involvement on my part, but all the more worth while, in my opinion.

I see your excellent point about not underestimating the digital distance, but when someone's life may be at risk and my action may help they avoid death, this is an easy decision for me.

6/22/2009 08:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Marc said...

I wonder whether this also makes it complicated for the CNNs and BBCs of this world (who seem to be relying entirely on Twitter for their news) to figure out which tweets are genuinely coming out of Iran?

6/22/2009 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Well, I would hope that if you're changing your location to help the Iranian bloggers, you wouldn't also be tweeting about topics that the media might mistake as originating in Iran...I mean the difference between "Stay strong and keep fighting" from someone with a name like Edward Winkleman is hardly going to be confused by professional journalists with a message like "rally today at 4pm in [such-and-such] square" by someone named Tehran345.

6/22/2009 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice but mostly symbolic, the govt is most likely tracking users via IP addresses, much more reliable than user profiles. Otherwise users in Tehran could just switch *their* profiles to Chicago or Boise and avoid detection.

6/23/2009 03:09:00 PM  

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