Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Trouble With Twitter

Quote of the day:"In a gentle way, you can shake the world." ~Mahatma Gandhi

Song of the day: Turn The Car Around [Shattered] by OAR

Date: June 21st, 2009

State of mind: running in circles.

While on twitter last night, following more news of protests and violence in Iran, I ran across a tweet with a video of a Basij HQ that was on fire due to a gas leak. The tweet claimed the facts about the video where "BBC Confirmed" and unthinkingly, I re-tweeted it. A few moments later, I was asked, "Confirmed by BBC where?" Good question. One I should have asked. But it was about 2 in the AM and clearly I wasn't asking the right questions and after an unsuccessful search for any confirmation I went to bed without addressing my tweet. And maybe that is why my unconscious brain wouldn't let me attend the red carpet premiere of Serenity 2. Gorram brain. Screw you!
Anyhow, as it is a day later, all I could find about the video was a discussion on PersianHub.org where several posters discussed the video and a few heard the same calls by people who must have called into a BBC show to discuss it. Not sure what that means. It might just mean that the video was aired on a BBC news program somewhere, but that doesn't mean the BBC confirmed what was in the video either. And today, CNN put up links to the video as well. Does that mean CNN confirmed the facts of the video, that is was indeed a Basij building and that 5 members of the Basij were inside and perished? Or are they regurgitating a video that is being widely spread on twitter? Who is creating the news, and who is checking that it is all correct? I have no clue. And it's making my brain tired.
Videos of the protests in Iran are streaming out as fast as the citizens of that country can make them and upload them, so there is no disputing that unrest is happening. Groups are gathering in large numbers and they are being met with violence. The rest? Who the hell knows! Ann Curry (also on twitter) posted a warning about forwarding unconfirmed news, but now I wonder how to know the difference. I suppose with all things it's best to take everything with a grain of salt.
And to hope for the best for all those people.

And if you are following me on twitter, you may have noticed that my avatar has gone green and that many other people have done the same. "Sea of Green. Sea of Green." It's one of many mantra being used by those protesting the results of the June 12th election. Green was the color of Musavi, the main opponent against current President Ahmadinejad. The results, which seemed to be announced way to quickly to be real since they were individual hand written ballots being cast, apparently gave Ahmadinejad the win by a landslide. However, there are many (also I guess, unconfirmed) reports of major election tampering. I've read tweets by people that saw ballots being burned, that ballot boxes that were being delivered from polling places to wherever they were to be counted had been opened and all the boxes that had been opened were 100% for Ahmadinejad. No matter how popular a leader is, that's just completely unrealistic that 100% of the people would vote for him or her. I mean, you have all met the human race, right? We don't 100% agree on anything. So, I can understand the anger and frustration. It seems the fraud was so blatant as to be insulting. (Not that subtle fraud is any better.)
Does this, and my avatar color, mean I want the winner to be Musavi?
No.
I have no clue who would be a better leader for the country of Iran. I'm from NY. What the hell do I know about Mid-East politics? How should I know what would be best for the people of that country that I actually don't know a lot about. Or, anything really. All I know about Iran is what I remember hearing about during the Iran Hostage Crisis when I was a kid and what I read in the graphic novel Persepolis, and one article that was in the Smithsonian a few years ago. (It spoke of how the "Death to the USA" propaganda was a heeded by the population as we do the Pope here. Mostly ignored as background noise and that a majority of the population felt that blaming the US for their problems was just a tactic by a government that wasn't doing anything for them. And it also mentions that after 9-11, many candle light vigils were held on our behalf. How come that was never mentioned on the news here? At least, that I recall...)
My empathy with those people in Iran isn't about wanting their guy to have been the winner. It's about recognizing that they are demanding that their government be better than the leaders they have are. They are demanding what they were promised, an election, one where the actual winner of that election become their new President. I don't think that's too much to ask.

Accounts I am following on Twitter with videos and information about the protests in that country:
https://twitter.com/ProtesterHelp
https://twitter.com/madyar
https://twitter.com/persiankiwi
https://twitter.com/Change_for_Iran
https://twitter.com/globalvoices (Which has news from all over the world as well.)

There are simply too many videos and articles to link here that tell the whole story. Frankly, it's overwhelming. I think when the minds behind twitter asked the question, "What are you doing?" I don't think they ever conceived of the day when the response would be, "Witnessing revolution." Despite how much the events of Iran will not effect me personally, I still have the same general feelings I did during and right after 9-11. I was pinned to the TV as the coverage of what happened continued almost non stop for three weeks and as this horrific thing was unfolding I still had to go about my daily life. I went to work, when shopping, did as many mundane things a person could do all while people had died and others were dealing with the aftermath. It's a mind frell.
And all I can really do, is hope for the best for those people.

Edit, to add:
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Irandecision 2009 - CNN's Unverified Material
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran


Guess The Daily Show is ahead of me by a few days.

Show quote of the day: "Doctor, I'm well acquainted with human characteristics. I'm frequently inundated by them, but I've trained myself to put up with practically everything."

4 comments:

LL said...

I knew twitter would get you into trouble someday... :P

I also read your tweet about the dream you had. We have a lot in common it seems. I too was horrified when I read it... Serenity 2??? Now that's mortifying enough to keep me awake at night! :ewink:

Red said...

OK what is a tweetsie or a twitter?

I missed the bit about Serenity 2 was it good?

Just remember your American and not Iranian, OK?

Is my sister gay? I was just looking at her pictures at facebook and well... is she? U live up there!

Beth said...

Wait, is there another Serenity film out???

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