Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NYTimes: Iranian government ignoring dissent on YouTube

Fascinating piece in the New York Times by Robert Mackey about how Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the current Iranian government are not only ignoring voices of dissent being expressed via YouTube, but denying that such opposition even exists.

Mackey writes:
"In a speech on Sunday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insisted that last Friday’s annual Quds Day (Quds is the Persian word for Jerusalem) was simply “a day of clear shouts against the deadly cancer of Zionism.” He did not mention or try to account for the fact that dozens of videos posted on YouTube by Iranians — like the one embedded above (see below), showing large crowds of green-clad protesters refusing to chant slogans against Israel and the United States, or the one below, showing protesters clashing with members of the Basij militia — seemed to completely contradict his account of the day.

Since it is unlikely that Ayatollah Khamenei is actually unaware of the protests, or of what seems to be clear video evidence of them online, his remarks on Sunday may be a sign that the men who control Iran are struggling to adapt to a new media environment in which the state has lost its near-monopoly on information about events inside the country."
Read the full article here. And watch the video Mackey refers to above:


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