From IPI PolicyBytes by Tom Giovanetti
I have spent a fascinating several days on
Twitter, literally talking to Twitterers in Iran, and in
some cases talking directly to young people who were in the protests. I watched
as demonstrators warned each other "don't go to the hospitals--the basijis are
taking names at the hospitals" and "helicopters are dropping acid on the
I had a discussion with one in particular who
was pushing back at Twitterers in the U.S. who were excited and supportive of
the demonstrations. This particular person was convinced that America (American
neocons, to be specific) wanted the regime to stay in place because "America
needs an enemy."
But by the end of the weekend I started to feel sorry
for Twitter, because now Twitter matters to governments, and that's bad. As the
executives of Twitter have probably already realized, becoming "important" is a
mixed bag. Twitter has now shown up on the radar screens of governments around
the world, and when something is important to government, government will seek
to regulate, restrict and control.
As important as Twitter has become
this weekend, and as successful as the technology has demonstrated itself to be,
I'm afraid this episode may prove to be the end of Twitter's exuberant
adolescence, and now Twitter will have to begin dealing with the
government-types, both at home and abroad.