Freedom of speech is often considered a threat to governments that do not hold with democratic ideologies, and as Iran reinstated its Facebook and Twitter blockade on Tuesday, following a brief lapse on Monday, the power of social media is clearly considered formidable on the Internet.
One of the newly elected president’s platforms that differentiated him from former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was that Internet access, which is heavily filtered throughout the regime would be freed up. Despite Hasan Rouhani who has his own Facebook page, there had not been any freedom extended to the public until Monday’s apparent “glitch” whereby Facebook and Twitter became available for a number of hours, according to the New York Times.
The government keeps a strict firewall over the entire country, and the blockade against social media was erected again early Tuesday.
Social media has proven to be one of the fastest sources of news and information, in general, across the globe, and has also directly influenced many unhappy citizens with ways to find like-minded individuals and empower them to organize quickly and efficiently, as has been seen in the recent Egyptian revolution and the myriad forms of the American Occupy protests.
So . . . was Monday’s opening up of Facebook and Twitter really just a glitch? Insiders say the problem may have been the result of a battle between different groups inside Iran.
If you thought Facebook and Twitter were not necessary to disseminating relevant information and news far more efficiently and accurately than traditional news and media outlets, remember this: social media allows anyone direct access to the witnesses, organizers, writers, reporters, interviewers (and interviewees), as each person posting on Facebook and Twitter places their unfiltered voice onto the Internet and into the world without all of the potential mass media interests and middle-men.
For businesses and brands, regardless of the size of a company, social media is an excellent way to attract new clients, convert more sales, close more deals, and involve yourself, your brand, and your employees directly in the lives of a community where everyone can revel in their lives with you, the business, as a part of it all.
By R.J. Huneke
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