Everybody's an Expert on Iran

Dave Winer on Twitter Sunday:

BTW, it's lame to change your location to Tehran and your timezone to GMT +3.30. Instead, our friends at twitter.com should detect and block about 13 hours ago from web

It should be against the terms of service to use the Twitter API to persecute and kill users. Yes? about 12 hours ago from web

There's a lot of cringe-inducing commentary coming from American bloggers and twitterers about the situation in Iran. Although most of it is well-intentioned, the massive outbreak of overnight expertise reminds me of warbloggers lining up Muslim countries for the U.S. to bomb in the days after 9/11.

Who knew there were thousands of people who could speak with authority on the complex internal politics of an anti-American Islamic theocracy halfway around the globe? Take that, Juan Cole! You may have a master's degree in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, but I reloaded Andrew Sullivan's blog 150 times on Saturday alone. And I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

The situation in Iran also has sparked numerous calls for symbolic gestures like turning your web site green or switching your Twitter timezone to GMT +3:30 and your location to Tehran, thus making it harder for Iranian authorities to find and crack down on real Iranian protesters using the service.

I love Winer's suggestion that the Twitter API be amended to forbid its use to "persecute and kill users."

If the Iranian regime decides to hunt down its own citizens for participating in Twitter during the election unrest, I'm not convinced that it could be stopped by a terms of service agreement.


It is a Ph.D., followed by numerous refereed journal articles and books. And, I did better with regard to hits that week than ever before. Andrew does great work and is functioning as a parser, not as an area expert. We need parsers and news consolidators with good journalistic judgment, and he has it.

cheers Juan

Juan Cole in the house!

Sorry about shorting your credentials. I should have read more of your Wikipedia entry, but reading just slows down my blogging.

Add a Comment

All comments are moderated before publication. These HTML tags are permitted: <p>, <b>, <i>, <a>, and <blockquote>. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA (for which the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply).