Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How reliable is the information from Iran?

Good article from The Guardian about the issues arising about how to determine the reliability of information coming through from Iran via social media sites.

The internet is a brilliant machine for spreading information. Data shoots across the network at the speed of light, passing from one node to another. It's unmotivated by fear or repression or greed, and can shine a torch into the darkest corners to help bring what was hidden to the world.

The uprising in Iran has been a perfect case in point - despite state censorship, the suppression of journalists and the shutdown of communications - the story has been covered from almost every angle: and the internet - as I've written before this week - has played a vital part in getting the information out.

(Some of the public nature of the information has been sparked in part, it seems, by the surprisingly robust design of Twitter and the fact that instant messaging services from Google, Microsoft and AOL have been turned off in Iran as part of US sanctions. Would an uprising have commanded so much of the internet's attention if conversations were happening privately, between Iranians, in Farsi?)

For more read here.

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