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)Now, admittedly, I didn't comb the entire Internet last Sunday afternoon to verify this yellowcake-caliber dropping of the ball, but I did notice that other legitimate news sources — The Wall Street Journal, for one — had essentially begun shelling the Iranian government's propaganda.
If Ahmadinejad's propaganda machine stopped functioning, maybe the truth would start to. The link that I repackaged and distributed on Twitter this week was to a tool called Page
It does exactly what you'd expect it to do: refresh whatever Web site you want at whatever frequency you set.
Sure, the site's intentions center more on winning e Bay auctions than, say, affecting the outcome of a democratic election, but democracy's a loose term in Iran.
All people had to do, then, was click my link and leave it open, and the lie-spewing servers of The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) would be slammed 3,600 times an hour. (I work in political new media, so the people I interact with online really know how to make some noise.) And it didn't take very long for the IRIB site to start slowing down.
So I tweeted about it, and e-mailed a few friends in the new-media world, who retweeted it out of courtesy and (somewhat mischievous) human decency.
By sundown, our army of not-quite-hackers had swelled to forty or so, and just like that, the official news site of Iran was gone for a few hours.A few repackaged tweets later, and the Ayatollah's Web site was gone. Let me be clear: This most definitely would have happened without me.All told, I probably only broadcasted directly to about two hundred people.On the right-hand side of Twitter's homepage, there's this little box that shows the top ten "trending" topics, or tags — those words with the pound sign, old man.Usually, this little box reflects the kind of garbage most people assume has piled up on Twitter — last night's episode of Jon and Kate, say, or "jokes" from Jimmy Fallon. This Sunday, there they were: #iranelection and #cnn FAIL.I'd like to think I clicked on #iranelection because I'm a savvy news consumer who works in online activism.