As people outraged over Iran’s election results take to the streets in protest, even more are taking to the information highway.
Ramin Joubin, 28, who was born in Iran and grew up in Vancouver, said the Iranian community is “empowered” by blogging, Tweeting and instant messaging about the riots in Tehran.
“(Postings) on Twitter and Facebook are bringing awareness on the issues,” Joubin said. “It really brings people together (and) allows them to interact and bridge gaps … And it’s safer because you don’t have to put yourself in physical danger.”
On June 12, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed a landslide victory in a national election. Millions of Iranians claimed the vote was rigged, leading to deadly protests in Tehran.
The Internet has since been swarmed with forums, YouTube videos of violent protests, Facebook support groups and real-time Twitter updates.
According to a video created by Digital Design students at the Vancouver Film School, which has been posted on YouTube, Iran is the third largest country of bloggers.
“Half of Iran’s 70 million people are under the age of 25, a generation vocally opposed to the current regime,” says the video.
“Speaking out brings punishment, so young Iranians embrace blogs to voice their thoughts and experiences … Iranian blogs are the true voice of the next generation.”
Joubin said Iranians here are being kept up-to-date through blogs and Tweets by friends and family there.
“They mention who is being arrested (and) the number of people dying,” he said. “They want us to see what’s going on. They show (us photos) … so we don’t believe the (rhetoric) that come out of the Ahmadinejad camp.”