Why There's No Twitter Revolution in IranS

A contrarian take on the much-discussed situation in Iran, via Business Week: While Twitter has been a great for international publicity, most activists are just organizing via word of mouth or SMS, like backward Web 1.0 people.

Twitter has been credited with lubricating social change in the religious dictatorship by no less an authority than the U.S. State Department. Maybe the hype has gone too far:

"Social media is not at all a prime mover of what is happening on the ground," says Ethan Zuckerman, a senior researcher at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society...



"The people I know mainly tell me they hear about these protests from friends or by SMS," [Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council] says.

Whille Twitter might not be drawing large crowds to marches, it is unquestionably useful for publishing news in an atmosphere of suppression. This disproportionately benefits foreign news organizations and the American digerati, so it's no wonder these elites are the ones most loudly trumpeting Twitter as a crucial instrument of communication on the Iran situation.

Still, these benefactors would do well to remind their readers that, with regard to Twitter and actual Iranians in Iran, the medium has not yet become the message.