The Peoplenet

Now, it’s becoming even more vivid. The Internet has grown beyond its abstract boundaries and further into reality.

Iran election has started as may be yet another election, peaceful and hopeful. For all parties. With the spread of voter fraud allegations, and suspicions over the way and speed by which the votes were counted, Iranian masses started to mobilize.

Twitter (the platform, not the application as mistakenly analyzed) became the favored topic-centric communication tool (#IranElection, Tehran messages) [twitter postponed maintenance in response to usage]. YouTube helped promote videos of mass protests. Flickr hosted numerous images. Meta-applications like TwitPic and news portals like BBC, have carried varied media propagating information much further. Reddit and other on-demand news aggregators enrolled worldwide symphathizers and activists.

I’m reading now about a twitter campaign encouraging people to change their location on their twitter profile in an effort to cripple down location-based filtering (not sure if it’s not a double-edged sword).
Update: “Senior officials say the [US] State Department is working with Twitter and other social networking sites to ensure Iranians are able to continue to communicate to each other and the outside world.” (via CNN)

Even further, a widespread campaign coordinating a DDoS attacks against .ir government websites out of _ casual web users _. Wired is now saying that this might provoke the Iranian regieme into a reverse Cyber attack (Dr. Strangelove anyone?).

I’m not taking sides in this elections (yet?). I know for fact it’s hard to track down reality in the middle east, and I can’t rule out herd-mentality in this case.

Nonetheless, I’m fascinated with how the Internet has grown in the past years to have such influence on people’s lives. An influence that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Will we be one day able to coordinate election monitoring over the Internet out of Mom and Pop teams? Will we have expats volunteering to watchdog government activities?

Ladies and gentlmen, welcome to the age of the Peoplenet.