Iran's reformers used blogs to circumvent government media controls. Dissidents in the Philippines used text messaging to help topple the government in 2001. For Europe's armpit, Moldova, Twitter is the protester's technology of choice.

One resident of the former Soviet republic told the New York Times modern Moldova "is like a sealed jar." But young people want out, so they're using Twitter to organize unexpected mass protests — "flash mobs" in internet parlance — against the communist (yes, communist) government.

The best part? The microblogging platform's ability to push information over both the internet and cellular networks has made it especially hard for authorities to shut down; cutting off internet access to the entire capital city couldn't prevent dissident status updates.

Here's to hoping bored office workers in the U.S. don't get hold of the protesters' searchable hashtag and start cluttering up the Moldovan communication channel with the sort of re-tweets and fourth-hand information that's become all too common on Twitter.

[NY Times]