Twitter Revolution

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Twitter Revolution may refer to different revolutions and protests, which were coordinated using Twitter:


Under the limited circumstances of the media and Internet, with the help of Twitter information platform, the opposition of the Iran government is connected to put pressure on the government. And the western media, CNN and BBC use the Twitter and YouTube product international opinion, because of the great role played by Twitter in Iran's political crisis, the opposition action is also called “The Twitter Revolution”. During the two months of the Iran election crisis, the Face book, Twitter, YouTube as the representative of social media play an important role in information transmission, the Twitter become the core link of the domestic and foreign public information field. In the process the Twitter as the main social media to provides “share emotions and support each other" platform for social sports participants.


In the "Twitter revolution", the relationship between the new media and social movement has three distinct characteristics1. The twitter streams represent the interaction mechanism of ecological network 2. The twitter streams embedding or be embedded into different types of control process; 3. The twitter streams reflect the change of social movement ecology.[1]

Negative influence[edit]

Twitter revolution also has its negative influence to the social movement. Gladwell defined the SNS activity as weak ties and low level organization structure, and put forward that the social relations which constructed through the Internet is very difficult to have the collective action.[2] Additionally, It is a challenge of the social practice of using social media for political information construction and dissemination of democratic consultation, therefore, political culture, and social participation of ideological discourse problems created by the social media becomes very important. [3] For example, “Oxford girl” successful at gaining publicity for herself than at helping any protesters in Iran. Compare her 10,000 Twitter followers with the 300 followers of a Karaj-based Green activist (who prefers not to be identified or to have his Twitter page publicized). The activist tweets in Persian, which few Western journalists can read, and he is often a source of valuable information about the mood in the country. The story of Oxford girl gives a clue about the real role that Twitter played. There is no doubt that she helped spread news about the Iranian protests—often very quickly. Twitter played an important role in getting word about the events in Iran out to the wider world. Together with YouTube, it helped focus the world's attention on the Iranian people's fight for democracy and human rights. New media over the last year created and sustained unprecedented international moral solidarity with the Iranian struggle—a struggle that was being bravely waged many years before Twitter was ever conceived. [4] Thirdly, as the restrictions of the technical and social capital, minority voice are easy to be ignored [5] and thus, the discourse right of ordinary audience was again put on the agenda. [6]

Positive influence[edit]

According to the study of the Egyptian revolution, American Scholar Linz put forward that there are four ways affect collective action: 1. Make the disgruntled citizens more coordinated take some public action; 2. through the information cascade (information cascades) to improve the predictive chance of success 3.accelarate the cost of the repression of the union movement .4.Through information dissemination increase the other regional and global public attention. [7]


[1] Alexandra Segerberg & W. Lance Bennett (2011): Social Media and the Organization of Collective Action: Using Twitter to Explore the Ecologies of Two Climate Change Protests the Communication Review,14: 3,197 - 215.

[2]Gladwell,M. (2010) . Small change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted. The New Yorker.

[3]Lim M. Clicks,Cabs,and Coffee Houses: Social Media and Oppositional Movements in Egypt,2004 - 2011. Journal of Communication serial online]. April 2012; 62 (2): 231 - 248. Available from: Business Source Complete,Ipswich,MA. Accessed December 26, 2012.

[4]The Twitter devolution

[5]Lim M. Clicks,Cabs,and Coffee Houses: Social Media and Oppositional Movements in Egypt,2004 - 2011. Journal of Communication April 2012; 62 (2): 231 -248. Available from: Business Source Complete,Ipswich,MA. Accessed December 26,2012.

[6]Valenzuela,S. ,Arriagada,A. ,& Scherman,A. (2012) . The social media basis of youth protest behavior: The case of Chile.Journal of Communication,62 (2) ,299 - 314.

[7] Lynch,M. (2011) . After Egypt: The limits and promise of online challenges to the authoritarian Arab state. Perspectives on Politics,9 (2) ,301 – 310.