courtesy of Twitter. Thousands of users of the social networking site criticized CNN’s abysmal coverage of the protests in Iran on their Twitter feeds, so much so that the network was forced to respond. Here’s an article about it from the NYT. CNN anchor Howard Kurtz defended the network by explaining that its coverage sucked less than the other networks. +_+ Colour me unimpressed.
I don’t want to wax too euphoric about Twitter here, but it is certainly interesting that apparently neutral technologies can be deployed to register transnational protest. Tweets are now coming in asking Twitter users to change the time and home listing on their accounts to Tehran in order to confuse the Iranian censors. Who says international solidarity is dead? It may only be episodic for now, but it makes one wonder what implications there are for a) modes of resistance and b) the configuration of the nation-state as younger generations learn to think of themselves as part of these networks which may themselves become more transnational.
Flash protests organized via Twitter are only the latest version of a common practice: using text messages to organize instantaneous protests. That method has been common in Iran, Pakistan, Palestine and well really, any place where cell phones have been cheaper and penetrated more deeply than the Internet. But CNN’s talking heads, with their usual astuteness, put it down to a copycat of the Obama campaign.
Right. Our nationalisms are modular and now, even our potential revolutions are unoriginal. Dammit.