June 17th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Will Facebook and Twitter help bring down Iran's government?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Whether or not there's another political revolution in Iran - there's no doubt the country has already witnessed a technological revolution. Iranian officials have been trying to clamp down on the flow of information in all the ways these regimes do - restricting the coverage of western journalists, kicking others out of the country, shutting down web sites.

Iran's officials are trying to restrict the flow of information... but it's not working because of media tools like Facebook and Twitter.

But it's not working this time - and one of the big reasons is social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. Many of the young demonstrators - 70-percent of Iranians are under 30 - have used these technologies as a tool to coordinate their protests over the election's outcome. They're also posting graphic pictures and videos of the crackdown by officials.

The U.S. State Department points to Twitter as one of the ways Iranians can "get the word out," and officials in this country are even following these social networks. In fact, the government contacted Twitter at one point asking them to delay a planned update that would shut the system down temporarily.

Thomas Friedman writes in The New York Times about the diffusion of technology as one of the major factors changing the Middle East. He points to all this stuff - the Internet, blogs, YouTube, cell phone text messaging - as a way for people "to communicate horizontally, to mobilize politically and to criticize their leaders acerbically, outside of state control."

Here’s my question to you: Will technology like Facebook and Twitter eventually help bring down the establishment in Iran?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Bill writes:
Jack, It used to be that you announced a shoot-to-kill curfew and took over the radio and tv stations, and you were done. We are so far beyond that now; I don't think the genie is going back into the bottle again.

HD from Phoenix, Arizona writes:
Not hardly. Iran is an Islamic dictatorship and the only thing that will bring that down would have to be on the level of a national revolution. People are giving Twitter and especially Facebook way too much credit here.

Matt writes:
Twitter and Facebook are things we take for granted in our society. We forget that they make the world a smaller place, and allow thoughts and ideas to travel anywhere instantly. The brands may change but the technology which is bringing the world together will define where we go from here on out.

Ray from New Braunfels, Texas writes:
The outcome of this is still up for grabs, but videocassettes bootlegged into Eastern Europe depicting what the western world is really like have been given some credit for the downfall of the Soviet Union. The truth has a way of empowering an oppressed society.

Fred writes:
Facebook and Twitter versus the Iranian government… Let me see, Jack, I pick the Iranian government. I haven't seen Twitter stop a bullet to the head. Have you, Jack?

Parisa from Houston writes:
I have big hopes for Iran, my father's country. I hope that the "new" majority in Iran, which is comprised of 20- and 30-somethings will be the ones to bring down the establishment in Iran. I'm staying tuned in to events via Twitter and Facebook myself. I know change won't come about easily or peacefully, but this is truly the beginning of the end for Iran's current establishment.

Filed under: Iran
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. Chuck in warren, Ohio

    Jack: NO. New technology will bring Iran's problems to the rest of the world but will not bring down governments.

    June 17, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  2. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    The only thing Facebook and Twitter are doing is keeping us informed, because Iran has successfully resisted all the diplomatic pressure the world has brought down on them thus far. It's the hundreds of thousands of protesters in the streets that will bring down the establishment in Iran.

    June 17, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  3. Mike M

    Facebook and Twitter are tools. Nothing more. At the end of all this, if the establishment is brought down, I would hope we have the sense to credit the spirit of the Iranian people long before we declare these internet tools as 'saviors of democracy'.

    June 17, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  4. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    It`s already helping. Don`t laugh Jack, this kind of thing is also helping bring down the corperate spin of our main streem media. You guy`s provide good entertainment, but more and more people are finding out that something is missing. The full story is only a mouse click away.

    June 17, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  5. David Alkhal

    I sure hopes so. It helped President Obama defeat McBush

    June 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  6. Louis

    I believe it will change all government. With technology being used for the good of all humans, this world will be much better. Hopefully it continues to make humans better. Just don't count on it.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  7. dick in the cold

    in this stage of the world anything is possible.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  8. Anna Olson California

    Jack one thing that I have learned is that if there is technology out there and young people are the ones that can find the way around to get the word out. They will. Thanks to Twitter and other social networking is going to help Iran bring a democracy to there country

    June 17, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  9. John Corrigan

    We are in a new age Jack not only will it change Iran but the rest of the world with it. Thats what will keep them honest.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  10. lily

    As a child in the late 50's growing up in Batista's Cuba, I remember huddling with my family around a short wave radio listening to Fidel Castro then a revolutionary leader in the mountains. Today we are witnessing young people using instant means of communication to interact and express their own political dissatisfaction. Times change, technology evolves, but basic human desire to seek information and participate in change when oppressed remains the same.

    Lily New Orleans

    June 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  11. Joni Corcoran

    I don't know if technology will turn this election over to the opposition, but it could. Twitter, Facebook, etc is the new way to communicate and it works fast and efficiently to link groups together and get information out. I am a 62 year old grandmother and I use Facebook every day, many times a day to stay connected with friends and family. While my purpose is social, the same techniques can and are used easily to come together politically. The Facebook and Twitter world is watching, Iran!

    June 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  12. Brandon Humphries

    Brandon Humphries
    Olympia, WA

    I highly doubt we can thank Twitter and Facebook for bringing down a regime. That take a good old fashioned human desire for freedom. These were simply useful tools, they won't make it any more likely that the government will be brought down. It's up to the people to do that. The government is still cracking down, people are still getting hurt and to top it all off data connections can be easy to interupt if need be. All that those of us on the outside can do is wait and see but I'm certain we are not going to get the tidy conclusion that television likes so much.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  13. John, Fort Collins, CO

    The Iranian establishment has to quaking in their sandals about now. I'm sure they are very aware of how Barack Obama brought down the Republican establishment in this country by tuning into the electorate through clever use of the internet. Like it or not, the whole world has entered the same new age of instant communications.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  14. Robert Evans

    No, it won't, in and of itself. What it will do is, however, is enable folks keep the heat on the Supreme Ayatollah and his cronies and eventually force them to make concessions to the citizens of Iran. Technology has let the genie out of the bottle there and it can't be put back in.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  15. mahro

    I am from Iran.I have to say one thing about your article.Our problem is not only blocking the sites but also the internet speed.It takes almost 5minutes to open a simple page! I also cannot download anything.All my friends wasting their time every day to find a good proxy.
    They also send some signals that interupt the signals we get through the satellite for example we cannot watch bbc persia which is one of the most important channels that covers the election.
    I am one of the supporters of Mr.Moosavi. I vote for him so did the rest of my family but I dont go to the streets to protest.I belive there is a low chance that they reelect the president and I dont want to get myself killed for that.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  16. James Columbus

    Change is brought apart by need, not a medium. The culture in Iran is changing by economic and social need, twitter and facebook are just tools in the tool box.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  17. Lovell Stallard

    Jack the under thirty group is a very powerful group. In our country they brought down the Johnson administration ended the Vietnam War and was instermingal in the downfall of Nixon, and placed a black man in office of the president of the United States. The game is the same but the tools have changed. We had television in my day but today there is a faster and broader tool that is being used and that is the internet. Tweeter is just a place they can meet. The world is smaller today because I can go to Iran and never leave the House.

    Lovell Stallard

    June 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  18. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Iran's government has curtailed these services. How can they help?

    June 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  19. Alex

    The Internet forces transparency from state governments. In a time where people can spread one message instantly to thousands of others, all the while posting images on Facebook or streaming video or recording for hours all from their cell phones, ruling parties can either come forward with the truth, or look like complete fools for thinking they can hide it, especially with something as ridiculous as a communications/press blackout. In the process, they lose all credibility and respect in the international community. If modern technology doesn't "bring down" the establishment in places like Iran, it certain will serve to change it.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  20. jeff

    This is a new generation and technology is leading. This administration got it right by not feeding into the propaganda by making statements that will fuel anti U.S. sentiments. As we see they are already trying to blame the United States.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  21. Dee in sunny (and wet) Florida

    I hope so. I hope that the PEOPLE of Iran, who want a better life, free from dictatorial rule, are able to precipitate change in their government. And I hope it can be done peacefully, through public concern and interaction.

    And if the social networking sites do help bring about a new government in Iran, one that is truly democratic, I hope other despotic governments soon follow.

    And I hope that if this does happen the governments in those countries that ARE now democratic see that the people truly have the power, and that a bad democratic government can be replaced or rejuvenated as easily as a despotic government can be overthrown.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  22. Alan Greenberg

    Unfortunately not in the short term. Iran's regime will do anything necessary to eliminate the dissenters. There is just so much leash they will release before they put on a spiked, choker collar.

    Eventually though, if the people have the courage and fortitude to demand freedom, and I mean for years, it just might happen

    June 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  23. John Black Hills/SD

    Oh, I don't think it's going to be that easy, the Council of Guardians will pull the plug on the populations power (the reason for their nuclear program) before they allow western technology to bleed their perceived power of control over forward thinking Iranians.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  24. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Yes. The world is becoming a smaller place due to these social networks. Oppressive governments can no longer keep the people in the dark. This is demonstrating how interdependent our world has become. We are living in a global social system.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  25. Chuck

    It might, Jack, over time. But the Muslim world does not hold with seperation of church and state. As long as the Muslim people allow their religious leaders to be heavy-handed, nothing will change.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  26. Bill, PA

    No, Jack the internet's Facebook nor Twitter will bring down the government in Iran. The current government has the guns in the hands of its' security agencies. It takes guns to impose the rules. Those with the guns make the rules or fight each other till only one controls them. That is US policy: Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Germany and England back in the late 1700's. Then our patriots were the British's terrorists in the revolution.
    Why else would we further bankrupt ourselves spending trillions of dollars every year on weapons? Surely not just for corporate/congressional profit as President Eisenhower suggested.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  27. Mark

    The answer is absolutely. I think the only reason Iran is allowing these technologies is the hardlne rulers not yet understand their power. Mousavi certainly took a page from Obama's playbook.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  28. Bill

    Not a chance. People today are like sheep. Mostly followers and few leaders.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  29. Ray Heard

    Pls, Jack, lets remember that George Soros helped the largely peaceful overthrow of Soviet tyranny in its East European fiefs by providing the revolutionaries with faxes, crude cell phones and other devices. The Iranian uprising therefore is in line with the collapse of the Soviet empire nearly 20 years ago.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  30. Matt

    Twitter and Facebook are things we take for granted in our society. We forget that they make the world a smaller place, and allow thoughts and ideas to travel anywhere instantly. The brands may change but the technology which is bringing the world together will define where we go from here on out.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  31. Ali


    It already has...

    June 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  32. Ray in New Braunfels Texas

    The outcome of this is still up for grabs, but videocassettes bootlegged into Eastern Europe depicting what the western world is really like have been given some credit in the downfall of the Soviet Union. The truth has a way of empowering an oppressed society.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  33. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    Not hardly. Iran is an Islamic dictatorship and the only thing that will bring that down would have to be on the level of a national revolution. People are giving Twitter and especially Facebook...way too much credit here. Iran (like North Korea) could not care less what the outside world knows or thinks about it's election as well as internal affairs.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    June 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  34. Brian Hawkins

    Social Networking sites are enabling Iranians to obtain correct information about whats going on inside their country. This allows the masses to be less subjugated to state control of the media. The youths of Iran are clearly modernized and quite possibly tired of Conservative Theocratic rule. Twitter and Facebook promote the freedom of information all over the world and has given people a higher awareness about their government and their country.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  35. raagos

    yes twitter can play big rule... but also we dont know alot things abt iran. we (americans) have to stay out this or else we gonna get blame

    June 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  36. Mike from Essex Junction, VT

    Jack, while Twitter and Facebook are awesome tools for mass communication and social connectivity, they won't take down the establishment in Iran.

    I have been continually impressed by the Iranian people's bold defiance and the incredible numbers that risk their very lives to fight for their freedom. Jack, if anything can take down the government of Iran, it will be these people.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  37. Ken in NC

    No Jack. The technology of Face Book and Twitter probably will not bring down the government but it will cause them to take a lot more GOODY’S EXTRA STRENGTH HEADACHE POWERS.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  38. ndolan622

    I believe that it will. At the very least, it exposes a side of Iran that many have never seen before...they can no longer 'sweep it under the carpet' – the world is watching!

    June 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  39. Parisa Mansoori

    I have big hopes for Iran, my father's country. I hope that the "new" majority in Iran, which is comprised of 20- and 30-somethings will be the ones to bring down the establishment in Iran. I'm staying tuned in to events viaTwitter and Facebook myself. I know change won't come about easily or peacefully, but this is truly the beginning of the end for Iran's current establishment. -Parisa, Houston, TX

    June 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  40. Rick- Long Island, NY

    Facebook and Tweeter are like Al Sharpton, they sound alarms but will never put out the fire. It's up to the leaders of the free world to bring down corrupt and/or terrorist nations, not social networking websites.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  41. Fred

    Social networking has already played a pivitol role in the uprising against the Iranian government. If it wasnt for Twitter and Facebook, we wouldn't have a first hand account of what is going on over there.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  42. CJ

    It remains to be seen if it will change Iran. However, what has changed forever is the notion that a repressive regime can do what it wants, when it wants, to its people 'behind closed doors' (see Tiananmen sqaure). Technology has made everyone a journalist. If they use the army and violently put down the riots it will be in view for the whole world to see, and for every Iranian to see. Their credibility as legitimate government would be completely destroyed. It has already been severely damaged. Good luck getting the population that remains after army intervention to work and obey your 'good and just regime'.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  43. Evan

    Of course it can, Jack. Think about the effect that technology had on our recent election. It could be said that no candidate can ever become President without utilizing the powers of technology effectively. If technology can raise candidates, it can bring them down too.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  44. Gia in Los Angeles, CA

    Twitter and Facebook have ALREADY played a huge role in Iran's current political situation. As much as those currently in power have tried to censor the protests, I think the horse has pretty much left the stable and shutting the barn door isn't going to matter much now. The people of Iran are on their way to claiming control of their country at long last.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  45. Emily

    Of course not. Revolutions only succeed when the control mechanisms of the state (e.g. police) are weak. Not the case here. It will help make the young feel that "they matter", but, ultimately, there will be no political consequences.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  46. Justin Ling

    Only if we help them.

    As was mentioned earlier on CNN, foreigners need to set up proxy servers to act as brokers between Iranians and the internet so that they may bypass government firewalls.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  47. Antonio from Chicago

    Bring down these governments? Absolutely not. These hostile government leaders would never allow American-born social sites remove thier power.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |

    I certainly hope technology will help in displaying to the world the intense desire of the youth of Iran to see a true Democracy grow in their country. A true Democracy would never try so vehemently to shut down the free flow of information like the corrupt leaders of Iran are doing now! Disgraceful.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  49. Tim from Ottawa CA

    Jack: Face book and twitter can only help the cause of freedom and peace with the good people of Iran.
    It's like the old saying "once they see the bright lights of the city, you will never get them back on the farm.
    Social Networking is the enemy of ALL oppressive governments.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  50. Bill Mountrey

    God willing, yes!

    Bill in Monterey, CA

    June 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  51. Sherri--Illinois

    Personally Jack, I don't care!. Lets worry about this country this Recession, I don't think the 14+ MILLION jobless Americans are concerned about whats going on in Iran because its a dictatorship ruled by ONE person, period!.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  52. Maryam from Los Gatos, California

    If it doesn't turn down the Islamic Republic immediately, for sure it is helping in the long run. These websites have helped thousands of Iranian people to communicate with each other and getting the words around. If a revolution happens, people of Iran owe some of it to Facebook, twitter, etc.
    Jack, thanks for keeping this alive in the media.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  53. Carl from Citrus Heights, California

    I don't know if it will, but the fact that we are discussing it gives rise to the legitimacy of the possibility. The Iranian society will need to determine their fate much the same way we did over 230 years ago.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  54. Karen - Missouri

    It's human nature to seek truth. What people do with it is another story. Technology has advanced so rapidly it can't help but change the world. This IS a new age and right now, no matter how much fun older folks make of the social networks, it's a major link to the oppressed like those in Iran. I applaud the Iranian people for standing up for their rights and exposing Iranian government for what it really is. And, at 60, I have a new respect for "social networking".

    June 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  55. Jason Hissong

    Technology has an amazing ability to alter social inertia and Iran will be no exception.

    Hilliard, OH

    June 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  56. Linda in Arizona

    It already is doing so. World opinion is being swayed by the cell phone images and messages coming out of Iran. Technology will also bring information TO the middle east, and can't help but speed up the desire for change when they see how the rest of the world lives.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  57. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    We can only hope. However, given that one of the problems was that many of the voters were illiterate and had to have assistance with their ballots I doubt if enough will be exposed to Twitter and Facebook to make a difference. The good thing is that the outside world is still receiving information about what is going on there.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  58. matt

    I think this is the start of technology bringing down the Iranian establishment. Imagine these tools during the protests in Tiananmen Square in '89.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  59. Mitch

    Neither Facebook nor Twitter alone will bring down Iran, but they will be the key to fostering and fueling current and future revolutions. Leaders can no longer hide their atrocities from the world. Those whom suffer now realize the wrongdoing being conducted is not that status quo that they are being misinformed, and they deserve better. Those onlookers around the world can no longer sit on their hands and deny the suffering of others. We have entered a new age of transparency, and yes knowledge is power!!

    June 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  60. Chris (San Antonio, TX)

    Indeed, Facebook and Twitter can bring down Iran's Government because the regime is gonna be one step closer in acting like how North Korea is, but with the help of supporters to Mir Hossein Moussavi, which I rooted to toppled Ahmadinejad, the possible end to the two words "Islamic Republic" will come. Let the young people speak for freedom of the press, expression, and religion. Persecution will come to an edn!

    June 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  61. Jane (Minnesota)

    I think it will contribute to it. I'm so happy the people of Iran have this opportunity!

    June 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  62. Paul Hallman

    There is no doubt that the electronic communications available today will influence the position of people throughout the world but in Iran we are faced with a dictator that will not roll over and go away.
    Although popularity points to his defeat I am sure he will not throw down the reins and go quietly from power.
    Time will tell and I do hope that someone defeats this government.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  63. Dawn in Atlanta

    Yes, I believe this new technology is the way for Iranian and all youth to be liberated.
    I am a middle-aged Baby Boomer and I am so grateful to, in my lifetime, have witnessed everything to Black & White TV to this new technological explosion.
    Our youth are pilgrims carving their way in this world; it is exciting to see.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  64. Monya Behnia

    With all my cousins and friends all over Iran using Facebook and Twitter, they have been able to communicate with not only each other but with us on the other side of the world in a way that we have never experienced. They are sharing videos and photos and letting us know first hand what is going on there. All of these upgrades in technology will definitely help bring down the current government in Iran.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  65. Marshall

    From Asheboro, North Carolina

    Yes, I think after a while, the social networking sites could easily help the people in Iran to remove the establishment.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  66. marygrace

    I hope something does. I was convienced the world should stand back and wait...but have changed my mind,,,,,Governments around the world need to speak out in support of these BRAVE citizens of Iran getting beaten and killed. Shout from the mountain tops....ENOUGH!!!

    June 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  67. Alec - Sacramento

    If you ask Rick Sanchez – yes, Facebook & Twitter can bring a government.... If you ask Al Gore, he'll take credit for it... But since you are asking me....I think it will take much more than a status update on FB or a 'tweet' on Twitter to do that much. Let's be realistic. They are up against a regime that has the power to un-plug all the gadgets with a flip of the switch...all at once.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  68. freshteh nouri

    of course is helping people to transfer all news when every thing else shut down in Iran.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  69. Patrick

    New forms of social media such as Facebook and Twitter not only have the power to reshape government policies, but they already have started the process. While China still has one of the strictest controls over the Internet, people are still finding ways to get around the restrictions. Especially with such services like Facebook and Twitter, it would require a nationwide block of the Web Sites to even begin to control it.

    As we can see in Iran, even though the government is cracking down on foreign media, it is near impossible to control the flow of information. While this may not "bring down the establishment" it certainly will force to Iran government to make changes, and make them fast.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  70. Nasrin

    No. Although it helps a lot but this government will do any thing to stay in power under the name of religion. Do not forget that this government is very popular within very religous group, and peopl from small towns and villages.

    Nasrin, from Orange County, CA.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  71. Brandon R.

    Nothing is impossible, Jack.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  72. Gani

    Facebook or Twitter cannot bring down the Iranian government if the Iranians take a cue from Nigeria.All they need to do is to shut down electricity supply.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  73. Tim Brown

    Technology always eventually spreads to the masses. Remember when only doctors had pagers? This same technology principle which is now empowering the people of Iran to communicate through twitter applies to all technology including nuclear weapons. Eventually all governments will have them. Technology always eventually spreads to all. Technology always eventually trickles down to everyone.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  74. carter

    Not anytime soon.There are still too many hardliners running things and before they give in to modern progress,they will start a skirmish or war with another country in hopes of uniting the people and the U.S. has too many problems to concentrate on right now.Give the Iranian people another 10 years and if the haven't blown themselves up maybe they will be ready to live freely.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  75. Chris C.

    I feel that freedom to use the Internet will lead to the downfall of tyranny. Anonymous activism will continue to grow in popularity. Many of the tactics used in the Iranian activism have been used in other ongoing protest campaigns including the protests against the Church of Scientology.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  76. David A Whitaker

    Jack, I don't know whether Facebook and Twitter will bring down Iran. It will keep things in the dark to come to the light, and it will all depend on the response of Iran. Whether they want to continue the hard line, or compromise with their citizens because the world is watching. At least the world is having the opportunity observe this country behavior.

    Martinsburg, WV

    June 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  77. Amanda Walton Fort Erie, Ontario

    Better watch what we say about technology beating tanks, those speculative Electromagnetic pulse weapons where it's been rumoured Iran may have, just may be now they would be set off to bring down our technology and cause more western chaos then we're already in.

    If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad feels that could be the answer to keep power in his country, what's to say he wouldn't use them. Then where would be all be. Just a thought–

    June 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  78. Mike

    No, or at least no more than it already has. The people who support drastic change in Iran are typically the ones in cities who have access to cell phones and the Internet. It's the people in small, rural communities that would need to change in order for Iran to really change, and Facebook is useless to them.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  79. Andy

    I highly doubt that new technologies that are barely a few years old will bring down the establishment in Iran that has ruled for decades, but it will definitely bring about a cultural influence that will cause change in the system. There could be enough pressure to crack the government into forcing a full recount or a revote, but it's going to take a lot more than Twitter to make that happen.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  80. Mark

    The answer is absolutely. I think the only reason Iran is allowing these technologies is because the hardlne rulers not yet understand their power. Mousavi certainly took a page from Obama’s playbook.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  81. Mike Goefron

    I think what we are seeing with Iran is what the advancement of technology has brought when it comes to the gathering and spreading information. No one source, like a government, can control or contain information as easily as it once did. With it's use in Iran, Twitter and Facebook has shown it's more than social networking tools, they are communication lifelines.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  82. Darren

    Why? It's done nothing to curb our culture of corruption.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  83. Dan in Santa Barbara

    It is only through social media that we can hope to catch a glimpse of events in Iran. The government in Iran have shot themselves in the foot with the decision to try to supress that. They could have used this media to their advantage, instead if there are any sizeable populations that agree with the results of the election they have eliminated the opportunity for us to see that. The only thing left to filter through are all the horrible things that are happening to the people of Iran.

    They remind me of the book ANIMAL FARM. They started a revolution against the Sha because they claimed he was treating them the way they are being treated now by their own revolutionary party. Guess that book isn't printed in Farsi.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  84. Matt

    No...and neither will or should US or any other country's involvement.

    If the current Iranian governmental structure fails, it will be and must be the doing of the Iranian people. The sacrifices it will require for them to win freedom and democracy are theirs to make, so that the freedom and democracy they win will be theirs to own and defend.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  85. Ron, Toronto, Canada

    Most of the world would love to see The blood thirsty regime in Iran colapse we dont need an army to do that, we can use Technology like Facebook and Twitter eventually it will bring down the Extrimist Islamic Republic of Iran.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  86. Jeff

    It's not easy to say whether these technologies will actually "bring a regime down" but what it can do is make groups of protesters more calculated and effective. It also gets information out to the world in real-time which makes riot police wary of doing something that could be in every major online newspaper an hour later. I saw technology utilized very effecively during the beef protests in Seoul. It's amazing to live in this day and age. One minute there's a baton coming down on some kid-protester, the next there's diplomat being called in to explain why their government is mistreating it's citizens and humanitarian groups calling for action...

    June 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  87. P. S.

    These sites will play the role that radio played in the 1979 revoluution.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  88. abby

    Tyranical and disctatorships rely on misinformation as they want to show the world that they are the same as the people they dictate to (or govern as they say). For the first time technology has shown that the people of Iran are not the same as the dictators who have stolen the country from them by force. People are fed up and are fighting back and the world is watching in awe. They now need Obama to not recognize this regim otherwise they died and bled for nothing.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  89. Tom Abilene Tx.

    I don't know about that ,but it sure is giving the Iranians in power a lot of grief. In their frustration, they are blaming us for "meddling" when we are only reporting the facts.Long live American democracy.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  90. LJ

    It certainly has the capability to do so. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogging and other online organization certainly helped to create history by putting the first African American in offfice. There is no reason why it cannot also contribute to changes in Iran's govt. These technologies help to bring out the voices of the ordinary man when united, can bring down any regime.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  91. MacFab

    Jack, United States should leave other countries alone and mind its business. By the way there nothing US and Twitter as well Facebook can do to Change dictators resolve to suppress others that do not agree with them. Let us all pray that God will meddle insteand of reactive John Mccain. I am happy though that the election was not and probably will not be about United States and Isreal and that our flag is not being burnt (as long as we do not meddle more than we have).

    June 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  92. Ellie Be

    I believe that using social networks is quite efficient. Especially, now that Iranian government has banned journalists to have activities back home. The only way left is to use cell phones for recording the events and using social networks to post pictures and movies. Iranian youth are educated and they always find a way to crack down the filters and that’s how we’ve been in touch with them so far despite all restrictions
    US, VA

    June 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  93. Harry Lime

    For these new media technologies, the content cannot be verified. I don't know what's worse, no news, or phony news.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  94. Ramez


    It seems right now facebook and twittwer are the only tools that the Iranians are using to let the world hear their voice. Clearly if there are some tools to bring down the oppressor government, freedom of speech is the best and social networks are helping the truth come out.

    In fact I wish there was satellite wireless internet that could support the cellphones and blackberries inside Iran so the government could not control Internet, Cellphones, Social Networks and Text messages.

    The technology will get there sooner or later the Iranian government will reach to the point that will not be able to the rule with lies and censorship.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  95. Mike Madain

    Maybe we should check Ahmadinejad's facebook or twitter page to see what he thinks. Finally, the citizens of the middle east can be thier own media.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  96. Al from SoCal

    Comon havent you ever heard of filters ip blocks etc. contries like china and aferica have been bocking content for years

    June 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  97. Felix Romero

    To get the word out, they are perfect. Will they bring down the Iranian Government? I do not believe so...

    June 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  98. arash

    i think it has a huge impact because we need coverage to make ppl hear us and its the only way we can let our supporters hear our voices. my self all day putting videos and news out of internet and i post it on face book and i have 110 ppl in my friend list and at least 30 ppl r re posting all the news and clips

    June 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  99. Marion White

    I am so excited over this. People amaze me and shock me. This is a long time coming. I hope that the media and tech. keep it going. The over throw of this dictator is his destiny. He has no respect. I listened to his condesendng attitude when he was interviewed by Amanpour. It made me sick. He is sick. Whatever happens is the will of someone other than him. I think Barack Obama is being very wise as he usually is. Let the Iranian people stand up to this man on their own. They will if not this time than in the future.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  100. Nancy, Tennessee

    The culture in Iran is changing as fast as the technology is globally. Facebook and Twitter are powerful tools for getting a message out to millions of people at the speed of lightning. Many leaders of depressed countries would prefer to keep their people in the dark, but now there is media for and by the people of all nations. Just goes to show the "power of the pen" and in this case the power of the keyboard is still mightier than the sword.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  101. yeshiembet Gemaneh (Yeshi)

    I very much doubt Twitter and Facebook has much to do with real world. It might help in communication, but not to replace human touch and feeling. The power of a country is its own people.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  102. Roxanne

    For thirty years, the people of Iran have been silenced and oppressed. They have now found their voice in cyberspace and feel empowered. If they begin by overturning the election, they are marching towards freedom. To stay aligned, in time, the entire Iranian regime will have to transform significantly to the point that it will not be recognizable.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  103. Christina - blue in Texas

    Absolutely Jack,
    This is a new day and I am so proud of the people of Iran who know and act on the fact that their pictures and videos that they post on the internet (whether it's facebook, myspace, twitter, or youtube) can change the way foreign countries see their country and possibly, hopefully and eventually, will change their government and bring down the establishment.

    PS. Power to the people of Iran!

    June 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  104. ComplexNumbers

    I am looking at this as a pre-cursor to what MUST happen in this country. We need the 82% of the country that has neither wealth or influence in how this country is run to take to the streets and demand that real change take place.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  105. Heidi

    I think it's cool that they are using what's available to get the word out. Whether it's Twitter, or simply whisper campaigns. It's about time somebody stood up to "Amadi". Thankfully, it's the Iranians actually doing the standing up this time around. They are saying its as big as in 1979 revolution. The government is even having a hard time getting the cops to enforce their orders at this point from what I have read in the world's news-sites. Here's hoping that the people finally get a say in that country. With 70% so young, I cannot imagine a "revolution" will be easy to quell. If 70% of the people are that young, then so is the military, and so is the police force. Seems to me that Ayatollah will have to give somewhere besides a partial recount.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  106. Tom Walker

    I think Technology will help bring down the establishment in Iran and from the looks of things, it has already begun!
    Dallas, GA

    June 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  107. Larry B

    That would be an emphatic YES, Jack.....the days of the oppressor are near an end! Before the explosian of social media, regimes such as Iran and N. Korea could simply close the "gate" and keep all prying eyes out. Social media is like a small leak or crack in a large dam. You can stick your finger in the hole for only so long. Eventually, another crack will appear and then another.....before long, the entire dam will fail. Iran has fooled their people long enough, and the people know it......and so do they.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  108. Dan Cook

    Jack, it absolutely will. The Iranian officials are a lot of things, most of which I wouldn't repeat in mixed company, but technologically savvy is not among them. Power to the people.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  109. Carla in Casper, Wyoming

    Help bring down the establishment in Iran? Probably not. Only it's people can do that. We have seen with technology how badly Iranians want to change. Technology has proven that a country cannot totally oppress or gag their people any longer. The truth does come out. The world is watching everything!

    June 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  110. Daniel

    Two edged sword like many technologies are... on one hand it is an enormous tool to get around despotic regimes like NK and Iran (yeah right... a democracy that has an unelected council of single religion religious leaders that actually determines policy). On the other hand it has put at risk one of the bastions of freedom in 'western' democracies by making nearly obsolete the business model of modern professional journalism.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  111. Carole Huber

    These social networks are keeping the undeniable undeniable. They show the world that the people of the Iran want change and that cannot be denied either by their leaders or ours.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  112. Alton

    Jack, I think what you are seeing is the end of your career! Social Networks like Twitter and facebook get the news out fast than you can report it. We no longer need the news media to have instant results for news and information world wide. You are seeing the end of media as we have known it and the beginning of a new age of use of technological devices.

    Already this year we have seen News Paper companies fade away and Twitter's membership explode beyond belief. The ability to share information is powerful. The use of Twitter and Facebook to get the word out can topple governments if enough people get involved and act.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  113. Ronald Samuel

    If they could bring down the Shah without technology, they certainly can bring down the ayatollahs with it.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  114. seeksense

    I'm not sure if it will help or hurt the government of iran.
    but, it shows just how much all people around the world have in common. not only do we all love technology but, we also love justice and fairness. check it out!! we ALL wish for the same things out of life.

    palm bay, florida

    June 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  115. Gary H. Boyd

    There's little doubt technology is opening a big window on a dark and shadowy Iran. Although in its infancy in that country, technological means are clearly showing the world the realities of an obviously stolen election.
    Will it overturn the government? I don't think so.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  116. Roozbeh Kavian

    I believe services such as Twitter/Facebook/Youtube have had tremendous help in getting the news/videos across the net, making the whole population of internet ferrous over violation of human rights. Iranian officials no longer have control in covering the news to for their benifits or blame the west for uprising of Iranian people . Iranian's officials should be worried, this is the beginning of an end for their era.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  117. M. E. Wilcox

    It's doubtful that Facebook & Twitter have that much impact to bring down a government. I was living in Myanmar during the (monks)' uprising of Sept. 2008. The Myanmar junta shut down all internet and cell phone providers while the protests took place – I suspect the Iranian gov't will do the same. In actual fact the percentage of people in that part of the world who have access to social media sites is small. I hope the Iranian people have better success than the people of Myanmar have.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  118. Randall from Louisiana

    When Iranians march in the street to protest the results of an election it is a revelution. When protesters take to the streets and have peacefull protests of our government and call them tea parties, they are called right wing kooks. Kind of a double standard don't you think Mr, Cafferty?

    June 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  119. John in Ithaca, NY

    It's too bad Twitter is the only way people in Iran can communicate to the rest of the world what is happening there. I think CNN is the world's #1 news network. As such, they should hire some programmers and make a Twitter-like website of their own, so citizens of the world can log in and provide updates on news that is being neglected, or silenced by the state. An added benefit of this would be that people could rely on CNN for the latest news, and not just Twitter.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  120. mike in c.a.

    no, not when one man has complete control of every aspect of the Iranian government and the separation of church and state is not understood as a counter to total religious controls.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  121. Adam, Chicago, Illinois

    No. Those apps can inform us of what "Joe" thinks about the situation. It doesn't change the actual situation. Now if Joe is twittering while marching against the regime...he is actively protesting AND letting us know about it.

    The question is will apps like the ones mentioned in your article replace paid news reporters in the future? Do I want the opinions of a few paid reporters or throngs of unpaid ones?

    June 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  122. Joanna Sorensen

    Technology – Facebook, Twitter, email, etc are all a means to defeat oppression. The use of technology is simply EDUCATION! Education that brings enlightenment and awareness of what freedom is and how there simply is no better way to live life. So, yes, I wholeheartedly believe this will bring about change that will lift Iran out of oppression.

    Joanna – Fort Mill, SC

    June 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  123. doug from woodland

    No, communications alone will not cause external forces to intervene, or internal military to join or allow a popular revolt. Besides, Mousavi is part of the establishment, this is a battle between internal factions.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  124. Linda Rogers

    ONLY the Iranian people can alter the course of their nation, and they have frankly shown PROFOUND COURAGE & RESOLVE;

    BUT without a doubt, NEW TECHNOLOGY has helped tremendously.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  125. Esther massillon ohio

    you have no idea of the minds of these people controlled by Islam. They not going to let change happen unless there is blood shed. they are not like us except there blood is red.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  126. Rajendra M. Parikh

    Dear Sir,
    It is media hype. It is Iran's internal problem and I am sure they will figure it out. Our main concern should be free and fair election,
    whether it is Iran or Pakistan or any country. We should look
    our own election of 2004. Majority votes do not count. You well know
    that electoral votes count. It is unislamic to have so called a democratic
    system of government for their peoples.
    Thank you,
    Raj Parikh

    June 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  127. stefan szilagyi

    Twitter or Facebook would never break down regine in Iran. Iran is not a democratic country. I don't even understand why they have an election in Iran.
    America shouldn't get involved with Iran. Some countries like Iran are not suppose to be democratic. It is not American business to get involved.
    Current Iran president is just a figure. If he would be gone, somebody else would be appointed instead of him. It is the same in Russia, where president is appointed by certain interest groups.
    In America, it is called lobbyism.
    Americans have to accept the fact that not everybody likes the U.S. Not everybody wants to be an American. Not everybody cares about the standard of living exists in the U.S.
    If Iran would become democratic country, then it would look like in Iraq, "Chaos"
    America doesn't need to deep itself into another mess.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  128. Scott from Texas

    It will change the people within the country and open dialog between them and the international community, but it will not change the government. Twitter and facebook alone aren't enough to overthrow a sham democracy, it will be up to the Iranian people to do that.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  129. Katrina Best

    As a college student who utilizes facebook for communication and actively used it during the presidential election, I feel that technology will help not only the Iranian government fall, but other regimes as well. With people being able to befriend whomever from wherever in the world, if the right information gets in the right persons hands, then yes Twitter and Facebook will help change the government.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  130. Vicki, Halifax, NS

    I dunno, Jack. You can only do so much with 140 characters at a ti

    Halifax, Canada

    June 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  131. Rose

    just take a look at facebook, it's laden with videos and pictures from protests in Iran, it can definately change everything. especially if Iranian poeple inside Iran could have access to these sites.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  132. David Powell

    This shows that the world's younger generation is not as lazy as some of the "old guard" would make us out to be. In fact, we have have exploited recently developed technologies to develop new ways of changing the world. This "social networking" revolution is just the tip of the iceberg.

    This is the new face of activism and may signal the development of the first true global generation. People of all nationalities in similar struggles are finally able to contribute to the "marketplace of ideas." Only now do we have the medium and methods to find truely global solutions to global problems.

    David Powell
    Murfreesboro, Tennessee

    June 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  133. Dexter in Houston TX

    Jack...it just did!

    Houston Tx

    June 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  134. Karl from SF, CA

    Since the religious leaders probably pray more then text, they may get Tweeted out of their jobs. We can only hope.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  135. James in Indy

    As profound as this is, let's not give Facebook and Twitter too much credit. While these technologies may possess simplistic beauty with infinite possibilities, the true power lies in the will of the people of Iran. Also, let us not get too excited. Revolutions are not always good; consider Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Bolsheviks, and Adolf Hitler.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  136. Annie, Atlanta

    I don’t think modern technology has the power to trump archaic religious regimes, yet, but still hold out hope for the sake of the Iranians.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  137. Bahar

    I hope not only brings down the government but our brothers and sisters from execution cranes. and thank god for these websites now they can show the world how their rights as human being has been crushed by these mullahs for last 3 decades. please keep supporting them so they know finally the world can hear their voice once and for all. hope to see the day that Iran has joined the free world.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  138. Jeff Bailey

    It's clear that historically governing powers have concealed as much information as possible to maintain control. The Internet is a beacon that sheds light on all information to all people at the same time. Once the entire world has access to the rest of the world they realize that the shackles they wear are not worn by everyone. It is then that people will take their basic human rights back. It's clear that eventually all dishonest governing powers will be exposed for the liars that they are but it's the Internet that makes this possible not any particular information provider by themselves.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  139. Akbar

    Could we have done anything with twitter or face book about The Bush 2000 thief of presidency? No. The only different is there are laws and order here, and lawlessness in Iran. I am sure if we had done the same kind of things in November of 2000, we would have seen the same reactions from our police.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  140. Dennis

    Much emphasis has been placed on the importance of technology to date. Twitter and Facebook are vehicles by which information flows. The actions taken in Iran are the reasons for success or failure. Would not the current violence in Iran occurr regardless of the social networks? Perhaps the technology is a contributor. Of greater emphasis is the fight for freedom as the root cause for bringing down the establishment.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  141. Chris

    How long will this technological coup last for? Let's avoid being naive, in Iran, both twitter and facebook are temporary privileges, it's only a matter of time until the current regime finds a way to restrict such sites, or even go as far as removing the internet from certain people. Hey, if it's true that they rigged an election, anything's possible.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm |

    No it won't bring down Iran. Look at the Fraud of the Obama election with Acorn & the Black Panther influance or the race issue brought on by Obama being 25% African with his 25% Arab & 50% White blood being of no account, all as a means of controling & stealing votes. The web or media didn't help expose Americas or Russia's crooked elections or change the outcomes & it won't help expose Irans crooked election or change its outcome.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  143. Ashkan in Alabama

    I was born in the US to Iranian immigrants, so while I am 100% American, I feel an ancestrial connection to Iran. I have been to Iran many times. I have experienced first-hand the opressive regime and the ups and downs of government opression on its people. I remember a time when women could not wear make-up. Now, despite the government's apparent desire to be more like the Taliban was than any form of legitimate government, it seems the people are forcing the Republic's hand. Social networking sites are going to be used to their full extents. IF a revolution is around the corner (and let's hope for the sake of the world it is), Facebook and its counterparts will be large part of that. As a journalist you should know this: NEVER underestimate the power of words.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  144. Stephen in San Diego

    Jack, a conversation can change the world. Look at the conversation started by the US founding fathers. It's still going on. And, the faster the conversation can evolve, the faster the change. That's where the new technology comes in. I can only imagine what might have happened (or might not have happened) in Tiananmen Square if thousands of cell phones had been recording everything.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  145. Jennifer in Winnipeg

    I truly hope it will, Jack. But technology works both ways for all who are literate in it. The ones who are telling the world of the injustices that are happening in Iran can be traced. I hope to God we don't start hearing about these young people mysteriously going missing. Mr. "Nutjob" could very well give the order to 'get rid' of these people who are going against him. May God go with these courageous young people.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  146. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    I don't know about bringing down a government, but I do know that it is making an impact on all facets of life.

    Only time will tell on what will become of this revolution by the electronic age.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  147. johnnie

    iran, lets get serious and cut to the chase, the majority of youth which is the future of that nation, have already defeated the establishment, with standind up to their government. they are a step ahead,knowing that the change is on the way, with protest and rising up in hundreds of thounsands, their technology is president obama and hope. that great speech by president obama in cairo, lit a fuse , in yes they can. lets be real, dictatorship will not prevail, facebook and twitter is just talk.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  148. Eric from Lincoln, Nebraska

    Are you kidding me? The rest of the world's governments don't operate like the media-frenzied US of A ... we didn't either, before our latest celebrity took office.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  149. Sebastian

    I don't think so. It appears that the focus of the protesters is on Amadinijad and not the clerics ruling Iran. Twitter and Facebook are primarily being used as a means of openly challenging the results of the election and not the whole iranian political system. That says to me that that Iranians want to see change in the establishment rather than its overthrow.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  150. Mojdeh

    The Establishment in Iran has already been there 30 years too long!
    Hopefully the fed up young people, and the brave women of Iran with the help of the technology available to them will be able to succeed in ridding the world of this illegal government that has made life hell for all Iranians, inside and outside of Iran. More power to all the demonstrators. We are all with them.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  151. Barbara ,New Port Richey, Florida

    Back n the day when wars and revolutions were fought without all of this modern technology, everything took much longer. This just speeds up the process. Can you imagine D-Day(one of the best kept secrets in history) taking place today? The Allies wouldn't stand a chance!!

    June 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  152. jB san francisco

    It only works as long as the gatekeepers are inept enough to keep the gates open.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  153. Richard New Hampshire

    Communications!Instant information through audio and video!What general would not want that?The protestors can out communicate the government.
    Not just Iran,but all governments better take notice.
    The establishment in Iran has changed,they just don't know it yet.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  154. Tumbleweed in Kennewick WA

    Facebook and Twitter won't mean a thing when you're protesting near the business end of a gun.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  155. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Figuratively speaking, the Iranian establishment is like the "Berlin Wall", but forces of Facebook and Twitter have no boundaries and will eventually bring them down.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  156. Robin, Northern Michigan

    Jack, last night I sat for quite some time, following the avalanche of "Tweets" relating to the Iranian election. There were literally hundreds—thousands—of short messages coming up on my screen... too many to even begin to read through completely. I was touched to see how many people had turned their avatars "green" as a show of support to the Iranian protesters.

    It soon became obvious that there were simply too many messages scrolling by for them all to have originated inside Iran. THE WORLD was sounding off! It was incredible and awe-inspiring to witness the global outpouring of support for the protesters.

    While the administration may hesitate to overtly interfere, I think it is entirely possible that the U.S. State Department actually hopes that Twitter could be the forum that inspires a revolution inside Iran. This huge groundswell of support from the global community could actually be the catalyst to changes in leadership that go far beyond Ahmadinejad and Mousavi—perhaps even sets the stage for a coup inside Iran which could topple the oppressive Guardian Council.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  157. Brittnay Palm Beach, Florida

    Its not just facebook or twitter but any form of outlet that can not be sensored and blocked will help to liberate a people like the Iranians who for the first time are letting their voices be heard. An outlet where real stories can be projected to the world by the real people that are living them can only be a good thing. At least for equality maybe not for the Iranian goverment.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  158. Mary Bren

    70% of Iran's youthful population can't be wrong! Wish we could bring ALL Iran's youth to the U.S. and oust the war-mongers in our government!!!!


    June 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  159. Matt in Janesville

    Jack, this is truly the first interactive Revolution. Everyone who is interested in helping can do so in their own way. We may not be there on the ground but we can disrupt Iranian Govt websites and post videos and messages for people. The world is watching...and helping.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  160. phyllis Sanders

    I sure hope that technology, and all other forms of networking, does help these poor people, get the truth out. This is one way of telling the out side world what is really going on. It is so clear to me, that this election was rigged, there is no way this could have happened if it had not been rigged. I guess the powers that be, must have thought that the young people of this country would just walk away and do nothing, they need to think again, the powers that be need to go back to drawing board and try again to get it right.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  161. Jim Bailey

    Bring it down?
    Not likely.
    But if it makes life miserable for any kabal of theocratic despots stuck in the 13th century it warms my heart.
    How about we smuggle a few hundred thousand cell phones into North Korea?
    Jim Bailey
    Cripple Creek

    June 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  162. Mo


    I left Iran 30 years ago. I was there when the Shah was toppled. Shah's regime did the same thing to Iraninans at the beginning of the uprising about a year before he was topples. We did not have facebook and twitter back then and we still managed to get the job done. We had Voice of AMerica and Radio BBC. We listened to both EVERY NIGHT.
    However, with these new technologies I beleive the job will get done faster this time. Any regime that cuts the media off is a dictatorship and needs to be erased from face of earth. This is not about who the president is, this is about the religious fanatics who have robbed people of Iran from their basic human rights for the last 30 years. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH is what people are saying now. This election issue is just the tip of the iceberg. The real reason for all this is basic human rights. Thank you Jack.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  163. Terry in Virginia

    I think Twitter and Facebook will help but a lot of blood will be shed in the process. I hope the protestors survive and escape punishment, but this isn't some video game and death is final.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  164. Max In NY

    Hopefully...better facebook/twitter than guns and bombs

    June 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  165. Joel

    Twitter and Facebook will not bring down the Iranian government. People that think so are idiots. Modern technologies just allow for the exchange of information. Injustice, inequality, dissatifaction, these are the things that bring down governments. Did George Washington Twitter Benjamin Franklin or did he write him letters? So we could say letter writing brought down the English tyranny. This whole line of discussion is idiocy. Iran's fate is not in the hands of Twitter. What happens will happen with or without Twitters help.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  166. Hussein from Columbus, Ohio

    No it won't Jakc and Midlle Eastern dictators from the King of Morocco To the King of Jordan and all in between are silently rooting for the Iranian government. Becasues if Iran goes down whose to say that Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak won't be Next????

    June 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  167. TOM (INDIANA)

    I hope it will change the world. It will help people to get out the real news what is happening around the world. But, like North Korea people are force to live in a third world will not be able to use this technology. Its nice to see the technology giving dictators and depress regimes troubles.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  168. Bill

    Hey, the Boston Tea Party was one big Tweet-Up !

    June 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  169. Mary Bren

    70% of Iran's youthful population can't be wrong! Wish we could bring ALL Iran's youth to the U.S. and oust the war-mongers in our government!!!!

    Mary, GA

    June 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  170. Mike (Dallas Texas)

    Pre-Web technologies helped overthrow the Shah. In the late 1970's when the Ayatollah Khomeini was in exile in Paris he circumvented the Shah's and the Savak's repression of his message with the cassette tape. Khomeini's sermons to his followers and directives to his operatives were smuggled into Iran on "music" cassette tapes. It will be ironic if the Iranian theocracy is defeated by the next generation of technology.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  171. Carol Monk

    Yes, this new world order of Web 2.0+, Twitter, Facebook, etc. is definitely going to bring down the tyranny in Iran. This election was stolen from the citizens of Iran. Heck – Aberdinijan (however you spell his name) may have won – but he had plans in from the get go to steal the election – and he will pay. Iran will rebel, and through peaceful protests, I hope they win back their country. Aberdinnerjacket – or whatever that nutjobs name is – is a disgrace. His rants are ridiculous. I side with the decent and courageous people of Iran. God speed to them!

    June 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  172. Brian Cain in San Diego, California

    I've been following the developments in Iran on Twitter since Saturday morning and know that a few things are for sure about the situation. First, given the citizen reporting from inside Iran, the Iranian government cannot maintain the facade of a fair and democratic electoral history. There's no way to count 40 million votes by hand in 2 hours. Secondly, the Iranian government has, thankfully, proven to be a miserable failure at suppressing the free speech of its' citizens in the technology age. Granted it's shut down cell phones, restricted the internet and succeeded in a lot of ways, but the world still got messages, images and videos that are making their way onto international news stations. Facebook and Twitter are on the forefront of undermining the efforts of Iranian isolationism and propaganda spreading. It's going to take more than social networking sites to bring down an established government but the power they wield demands that the world not treat the Iranian government as one that's fair and supportive to its' people.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  173. Natalie

    Doubtful although I suspect it will suceed in helping enemies of the US to somehow blame us for the chaos going on there. Our President has done an admirable job thus far even in his choice to not get sucked into another country's internal upset...we cannot afford to be drawn into such an unstable environment at the expense of our soldiers.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  174. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    Silly question except that the media loves "tech" in their news.
    It is also silly that people say technology played a huge role in last presidential election. McCain and Obama were neck and neck until the economy tanked in October. Then Obama pulled ahead.
    Anyway, why are the stories where technology is "helping" Ahmadinijad? It doesn't "fit" into the story we want, huh?

    June 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  175. EugeneWiese Midlothian,Va.

    High tech should help bring down old hat thinking in Iran,I hope so,but things are too unpredictable today,and unfortunately power promotes war. Gene

    June 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  176. Patricia

    I think all states based on lack of human rights and dignity have self destructive properties. When light shines on dark practices, whether via traditional reporting or via modern technologies, people lose their fear and become empowered. If we're going to get a "new" Iran, let us hope it is a better one. Thanks Jack...Patricia, Virginia Beach, Virginia

    June 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  177. Matt in Janesville

    Hopefully this movement shows the world that Iran isnt a extremist Islamic country. The majority of the country is a progressive youth with the same values and desires as the western world. They want freedom and fairness just like us. Now is their time to stand up for themselves and grab freedom from the brink of dictatorship.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  178. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    if regular folk around the world shows their support it simply shows how they are free to do so!

    June 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  179. stef in minneapolis

    Twitter, Facebook, and texting helped get Obama elected, so maybe they can bring down Iran's govmt

    June 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  180. Ali

    yes Jack it will. I'm a naturalized US citizen but I grew up in Iran. what is happening right now and in the scale it's happening in has never taken place in the last 30 years. people screaming death to the dictator ( which is pointed directly to the supreme leader ) was like a dream before all this. yes Jack it's going down and it's not just because of Twitter or Myspace,it's because Iranians are sick and tired of this government .

    June 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  181. Michelle from Sacramento, CA

    I think it's great that the younger generation is taking a stand! We witnessed how powerful platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can be and this provides further proof that governments should take the youth of their country seriously.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  182. House guest

    I feel Facebook and Twitter have already made a dent.
    Once the people – especially the younger tech-savvy ones – get acquainted with the ways of the West and learn about what's going on elsewhere in this world, they will definitely want the same things for themselves. It's just a matter of time! Government leaders will be powerless to control them.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  183. Linda


    It already is.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  184. Namboo

    Ofcourse. It is technology married to freedom of speech winning eventually.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  185. Collin

    One problem is no matter how much info/photos/viedos come out of Iran it still wont get other countries to get involved nor will it scare the Iranian government into making things right. On the other hand it will help these protesters get their voice out and help them organize protest and such. I really hope this violence doesn't go on long but if your country has been wronged then a violent reaction may be nessessary. Good luck.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  186. Zohreh from Los Angeles

    I hope. Being an Iranian-American who lives in LA, I can only pray for them. I am following the news every minute and my heart goes with them. God bless them and IRAN.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  187. Hopeful American

    Yes. Today's technology is the best defense against tyranny. Verbally and visually exposing cruelty and oppression is the way to stop it. It is exciting to watch the enpowerment of a more moderate movement in Iran. Let's hope they prevail.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  188. Jake James

    I wonder if Twitter and Facebook will replace the antiquated, corporate owned news organizations that have been reporting biased "news" to us for decades. Everytime I watch any of the major news networks I do so with a cautious eye. Some are better than others (all are better than Fox News), but we need independant reporting in this country as badly as they need it in Iran.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  189. Everett Peavey

    If every American cut their oil usage for just 6 weeks -enough time to push down commodities contracts- this would push Iran's actual regime out of power, without us firing a single shot.

    I don't think this we could this, even though 6 weeks is not that long, as a society we don't move unless we see immediate benefit. An example is in less than a decade we became a cell phone country.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  190. Voted for Change

    Technology is only a weapon. It take strong wills and courage of the Iranian youths to bring down the dictator.

    OC, California

    June 17, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  191. Jack NYC

    Regardless whether or not the demonstrators succeed in bringing about change in Iran, the new technology has changed the landscape for some time. President Obama got elected, in part, by his team's savvy use of the new social networking systems. What all movements depend on is the ability to get human bodies on the street. These new social networking systems make it a lot easier to mobilize people. This can be crucial. We will have to see what the outcome will be, of course, but politics in Iran (and the US) will never be the same.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  192. drew henderson

    as a student with a Facebook and a Twitter i know theses sites i really dont think thell make that much of an inpact on Iran. Yes its a way of getting things out to the world but all this comes down to one thing, is Iran really going to change there ways and have fare elections.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  193. Thanh

    Social networking has become one of the most important things to government. Before there was always a distance between the public and government. Now, with Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter, people and government are now entwined. That's the way it should be, for a government for and by the people.

    If Iran can change, then I think we're in for the good times ahead.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  194. don

    rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper, gun beats twitter.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  195. J in NJ

    Jack, the answer is aboslutely not! The only thing that will bring down a tyrannical government is the will of the people. If enough people want it they wil have to fight for it and make it happen. Some social networking site may be a minute component of the revolution but it will certainly not be the cause of or the reason for the change.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  196. Dan

    The will of the Iranian people will force the needed changes in Iran. We give way too much credit to technology and not enough to something called ' free will '.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  197. babs in calivornia

    I really think so, Jack. I have to believe that once people get a look at what's out here in the rest of the world things start changing for the better. It's all about comunication, right?

    June 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  198. Patrick Pilz

    The new social media will be able to bring down any state, because people can faster organize, manage and regulate themselves than any government can.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  199. Joe W Tamarac, Florida


    Regarding Alton's comment about the end of your career........Puh-lease! He should be concerned about his job security in this rotten economy. If your career ended today, you'd still live happily ever after and would still be successful and financially secure. Anyway, your career is just fine. Alton watches. Imagine if everyone were like Alton. TV news is not going away anytime soon.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  200. farzad

    Yes. It will help to bring down Iran’s regime. The Iranian people are getting organized and coordinated through these websites. When we get on the same page and speak with the same voice everything and anything is in our reach.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  201. Michael C Kettering Ohio

    As a teenager myself, the internet has an amazing capability to catalyze and facilitate social movement. In the case of Iran where tensions are high and dissent is growing, the use of the internet has a very high capacity to change the status quo very rapidly.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  202. Joe Tyson

    It will be young people that have been exposed to the outside workd that will unite and modernize Iran. Facebook and Twitter are just some of the many new tools that they will use.

    June 17, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  203. Bo

    No. Only Iranians can change Iran.

    June 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  204. MIke

    It used to be said that "...the pen is mightier than the sword..." The current version should be "...the cell phone is mightier than the tank..." Bullets can't stop ideas.

    June 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  205. Mike

    the desire for freedom must be organic, it must spring from the roots of the people. though the internet is a tool, there is nothing more powerful than change. No amount of military intervention could have achieved such results. When the group in power has to use such tactics, you know they fear opening up, and crackdowns is the only tool they know how to use well. We are with you people of Iran!, i am glad the America is letting the roots of this debate be settled by the people of Iran.

    June 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  206. Gloria Nickel, Winnipeg, Canada

    One short phrase – the medium IS the message – I don't know if Marshall McLuhan envisioned anything quite like this, tho...

    June 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  207. Jim in Tacoma


    In the end, it will not be Twitter or Facebook that brings down the Iranian regime. They may be helpful tools, but focusing on them ignores a much more important factor. The great heroes of this struggle are the men and women of Iran who have braved gunfire, batons, and arrest to call for their liberty. It is their bravery that should be being discussed. These are true heroes.

    June 17, 2009 at 5:11 pm |