Twitter Free Iran: an Evaluation of Twitter's Role in Public Diplomacy and Information Operations in Iran's 2009 Election Crisis
Burns, Alex and Eltham, Ben (2009) Twitter Free Iran: an Evaluation of Twitter's Role in Public Diplomacy and Information Operations in Iran's 2009 Election Crisis. In: Communications Policy & Research Forum 2009, 19th-20th November 2009, University of Technology, Sydney.
Text (Twitter Free Iran)
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Social media platforms such as Twitter pose new challenges for decision-makers in an international crisis. We examine Twitter's role during Iran's 2009 election crisis using a comparative analysis of Twitter investors, US State Department diplomats, citizen activists and Iranian protesters and paramilitary forces. We code for key events during the election's aftermath from 12 June to 5 August 2009, and evaluate Twitter. Foreign policy, international political economy and historical sociology frameworks provide a deeper context of how Twitter was used by different users for defensive information operations and public diplomacy. Those who believe Twitter and other social network technologies will enable ordinary people to seize power from repressive regimes should consider the fate of Iran's protesters, some of whom paid for their enthusiastic adoption of Twitter with their lives.
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