Register Friday | June 22 | 2018

Iranian Protests Are Not Just an Excuse to Talk About Twitter

Twitter is great for a lot of things. For example, I enjoy mocking people who have Twitter accounts. But you know what else Twitter is great for? Providing journalists covering an uprising with an angle that also happens to include an ultra-popular, search-engine-friendly keyword.

Georgia had the Rose Revolution, which sounds sexy, and Czechoslovakia had the Velvet Revolution, which is badass because it was supposedly named after the Velvet Underground. What’s going down in Iran right now can’t be called the “Iranian Revolution,” because I guess that already happened or something, but I guarantee you that when the dust settles, we will smugly look on and label this the Twitter Revolution. Look, it’s already happening. (Moldova had one too, but it’s Moldova, so whatever, right?)

This is clearly a sign that the good people of Iran want to become more like us. (By “us” I mean “Canadians,” and by “Canadians” I mean “Americans.”) Not only are they rejecting the leader we instructed them to reject—they are doing it in 140 characters or less! Truly, now, their democratic process is as insipid and puerile as our own. Maybe, instead of invading Iraq, Washington should have just dropped a bajillion iPhones and said, “@iraqippl Start a revolution, and also tell us every mundane detail of your personal life #wmd.”

Please, people. With Iran blocking cell phone services, texting and many websites, Twitter really has been an incredible resource for the country’s protestors. But this is a popular struggle, not another excuse to self-importantly jabber about social networking like a bunch of freshman university students who've discovered Facebook for the first time. And to the trying-too-hard-it’s-painful folks at Twitter: this is not a chance to turn your ridiculous “service” into the saviour of democracy. When you start delaying maintenance in order to help protests that don’t happen to coincide perfectly with US foreign policy interests, then we’ll tweet—er, talk.