New FC: #cleanse
My new Fast Company article went live this morning, "The Dark Side of Twittering a Revolution." It looks at some of the less-savory implications of the heroic use of Twitter in Iran.
Consider, for a moment, what we're seeing happening in Iran: mass-action coordinated, at least in part, through Twitter; traditional media in Iran having lost any legitimacy for the angry populace, alternative media--like Twitter--increasingly becoming the sole source of information; and a growing sense of persecution and crisis, abetted by the limited streams of rumor-heavy news. Let me again emphasize that I don't think that what's happening in Iran is a misuse of social media; what I do think is that the same kinds of dynamics that have allowed for a potential democratic revolution in Iran could emerge just as readily in support of something far darker.
Just as radio was used to great effect by those seeking to unleash genocide against ethnic rivals, social media like Twitter is likely to be used at some point to do others harm.
(The title of this post -- and the image above -- will make sense when you read the FC article.)