Activist crackdown: Tunisia vs Iran

In the summer of 2009, the word on everyone’s lips was “Iran.” As the
youthful Green Movement rose up against what they perceived to be a
tampered election, the world banded together in solidarity. The hashtag
#iranelection trended on Twitter for weeks, while media outlets spoke of
a “Twitter revolution.”

In the end, Iranians didn’t tweet the Mullahs out of power, but the
events of summer 2009 turned the world’s – and specifically, the West’s –
attention to Iran, and as a result, to digital activism and what it can
accomplish. And while Twitter may not have been used to coordinate
protests, it certainly allowed Iranians and their supporters to share
news with the rest of the world.

Now, as Tunisians take to the streets
(and to the Internet) to protest unemployment and the oppressive and
longstanding Ben Ali regime, the world’s attention seems to be
elsewhere. More specifically (and perhaps more importantly), the US
government–which intervened heavily in Iran, approving circumvention
technology for export and famously asking Twitter to halt updates during…

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