Iran Elections Cyberwar Guide: Tips for Digital Resistance
Recent events developing from the Iran elections have shown a stark disconnect between the mainstream media and online social media in events coverage and where people are now turning to for their news.
The developments in the use of the web to share, access, edit and discuss information about the crisis in Iran show just how modern news organizations are failing to deliver news in the way the public want to seek it.
Iranians and observers abroad are using right this minute Twitter, blogs, Flickr and YouTube to share information about what is happening within Iran at a speed that has left mainstream media off-foot.
As major networks such as BBC and MSNBC failed to cover the Iran elections and subsequent developments adequately, if at all--a fact immortalized by the now ubiquitous #CNNfail hashtag--platforms such as Twitter truly came into their own, breaking stories and distributing news as it happened from inside of Iran. Only after Twitter emerged as the main source of information regarding Iran elections did the mainstream media follow.
The power of Twitter's newsbreaking and information dissemination was acknowledged when Twitter postphoned its scheduled site shut-down maintenance due to pressure from its community. The morning of Tuesday, June 16, the U.S. State Department officially asked Twitter to remain up for the Iran Election.
In the face of the Iranian government crackdown on social media in Iran to prevent such communications, the online social media community has thrown its support behind the Iranian people.
Refer to the following Iran cyberwar guide to avoid inadvertently helping the Iranian government with their crackdown rather than the protesters fighting for their votes:
1. Do NOT publicize Iran proxies over Twitter. The Iranian government will find and block them.
If you are creating new proxies for the Iranian bloggers, DM them to @stopAhmadi or @iran09 and they will distributed them discretely to bloggers in Iran.
2. Beware of fake accounts. Iran security forces are posing as Iranian protesters to spread misinformation. Confirm with reliable sources before retweeting.
3. Change your Twitter location and time zone settings to Tehran, GMT +3.30. You will provide cover for Iran bloggers since that is how they are being searched for.
5. If you discover a genuine source communicating from inside Iran, don't announce it publicly. You will blow their cover, so spread the word discreetly.
For more on Iran elections (from BBC News):
Dramatic images of protesters, rallies, voters, and post-election scenes from inside Iran are being published across the web, on platforms and websites such as Tehranlive.org.
The Huffingpost Post is live-blogging events in Iran, with similar news updates provided by the Guardian and New York Times. Developments are also being followed by Seattle's Andrew Sullivan and Tehran Bureau.
Finally, people are showing solidarity with Iranian voters on Facebook by changing their profile pictures green, the colour of the movement for reform in Iran.
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