It is unquestionable that the largest news story of the week has been the protests in Iran led by opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi, and the crack down of the protesters by the Iranian police and government. To make the story even more relevant to our world, since Iranian media is state controlled, and foreign journalists have been censored, most of the news coming out of Iran about the post-election protests, deaths and questioning of election results have come out of Tehran via social media outlets such as Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and some blogs.
In this hot political climate a great deal of citizen journalism is coming out of the streets of Tehran. And today, Mousavi’s opposition groups plan a staged protest despite the warning of the Ayatollah that more protests can lead to riots and possible bloodshed.
Nonetheless, an interesting point is that US news outlets such as CNN, MSNBC and others are dependent upon Iranian Television AND these social media outlets, for their reporting of the events. In preparation for what may be a weekend of revolutionary news coming out of Iran, I’ve decided to list some of the resources which can be used to track and monitor the protests and results.
- Twitter Hashtags : Mashable’s Ben Parr suggests monitoring specific Twitter Hashtags which have been set up by users to broadcast what’s happening in Tehran (remember, the protesters are mostly college kids and people under the age of 25). The top hashtags and keywords being used by people talking about the Iran situation are #IranElection, Ahmadinejad, Mousavi, and Tehran. Track these keywords first.
- Twazzup : Twazzup is a Twitter powered Mashup of Twitter feeds, users, and photos associated with Twitter Search Terms. Try monitoring the Twazzup page for “IranElection“.
- Flickr : Flickr is a widely used photo sharing site owned by Yahoo which is quite popular around the world. Again, try searching for keyterms relevant to the protests such as “Iran Protests”, “Iran Riots 2009” or “Tehran Protests“
- YouTube : Owned by Google, different channels have been set up on YouTube for witnesses of the Iran protests to upload their videos which have been shot via cell phones or video cams. Again, here’s a Hattip to Mashable for listing out some of the more popular YouTube Channels : Iran Riots, Irandoost09’s channel & Iran Election 2009 (sorted by newest videos).
- Facebook : This Facebook IRAN page which is run by TehranBureau.com is full of Iran Protest coverage, conversation and has over 33,000 fans following its coverage.
- Balatarin.com : Balatarin.com, is the Persian language version of Digg and is full of protest coverage.
- Google Translate : You may find that a lot of the content coming out of Tehran may be in Persian (Farsi) or even French. Don’t fret, Google has added Persian to its Google Translate tool.
How are you tracking the Iranian election protests online? Please leave a comment below to share resources and suggestions.
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