As mentioned in the previous post, during the protests following the 2009 elections, mobile phones and cameras showed the world how the government treated the protesters. But without the Internet, those pictures would never have left the country.
The Internet has facilitated many incredible things since its inception – good and bad. But by allowing people all around the world to share anything with anyone, anywhere. Recently we have seen the power of the Internet and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook; in North Africa and the Middle East, two authoritarian leaders have been deposed, and many more seem under threat of the same fate.
During the elections and the aftermath, videos of the government brutality in Iran were leaked to news companies through Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. The use of Twitter during the 2009 elections was especially prominent; the website rescheduled site maintenance during this crucial period just to facilitate the spread of news and information in and out of Iran.
For the last two years, Iranian activist and former political deputy, Mohsen Sazegara has used these media to preach and rally those in Iran lacking leadership.
Of course, the Internet’s usefulness lies, in many ways, in the difficulty to regulate the content. As a result, many horrific images and videos escaped Iran and were spread quickly throughout the global community and to news companies. This includes the video of the dying moments of Neda Soltani (mentioned in the previous post). It was important for people to see things like this to fully comprehend just what is happening out there, but the problem with things like this is the very reason I am not posting the video here: once you press play, you cannot un-watch it.
So no regulation on the content, but filling a vital role, the Internet and its social networks have played many vital roles. And this is only the beginning.