Twitter: let the last doubter now shut up

cartoon by Nikahang Kosar of ahmadinejad with a raised middle finger with his election percentage

Cartoon by Nikahang Kosar

First they came for the newspapers, like they always do. Then they went after the opposition’s leaders, like they always do. Then they shut down the TV, like they always do. Then they cut the telephone lines including the mobile networks. Then they slowed down the internet and tried to block youtube and social networks, like they now have to.

This left Twitter as the last channel of opposition organisation standing.

And after midnight in Tehran this led to:

@pauloCanning #iran thousands on Tehran rooftops chanting ‘Allah O Akbar’ http://twitzap.com/u/wC8 sound ‘deafening’

This was the update which did it:

ALL internet & mobile networks are cut. We ask everyone in Tehran to go onto their rooftops and shout ALAHO AKBAR in protest #IranElection

Followed by:

0:05 PM ET — Twitter goes dark? I noted earlier that Twitter was the only major social network still operating in Iran. Now something has changed. All of the Iran-based Twitter users I’ve been reading haven’t posted for at least 30 minutes or so. The reasons are unclear. Some on Twitter are claiming there is a complete electricity shut-down in Tehran. One Iran-based Twitter user, @tehranelection, last posted an hour ago: “I have to shut down for a bit, the police are looking for satellites.” Will update as soon as I hear more.

It is coming to something if in order to completely silence opposition you have to shut off the electricity.
The events I describe here are completely absent from almost all of the MSM (BBC, CNN, Fox) The New York Times is an exception, they have a liveblog running which they’re promoting from their homepage. Also, the best UK reporting from Tehran seems to be coming from Channel Four’s Lindsey Hilsum.

Not for the first time, has the place to watch and find out the latest been blogs and social networks.


As the #iranelection hashtag stream has becoming increasingly fast, at least 60 updates per minute, I have taken to following Iranian tweeters (using the channels in TwitZap):

Ones which don’t appear to have gone silent (arrested?) are:



a woman challenges police in tehran

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