June 17, 2009
These are the words of NYU professor Clay Shirky, on what is happening in Iran right now:
I’m always a little reticent to draw lessons from things still unfolding, but it seems pretty clear that … this is it. The big one. This is the first revolution that has been catapulted onto a global stage and transformed by social media. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Chicago demonstrations of 1968 where they chanted “the whole world is watching.” Really, that wasn’t true then. But this time it’s true … and people throughout the world are not only listening but responding. They’re engaging with individual participants, they’re passing on their messages to their friends, and they’re even providing detailed instructions to enable web proxies allowing Internet access that the authorities can’t immediately censor. That kind of participation is reallly extraordinary.
From an interview on the Twitter and Iran topic, with the TED blog, where he also says that Twitter sparks the heaviest punch and has a bunch of other intelligent things to say. As usual in Shirky Land of course.