October 05, 2003

BloggerCon: Dissent in Iran as "Revolutionary" Application of Blogs

Real revolutionary blogging in Iran was compared to innovative use of blogs in U.S. Presidential politics during BloggerCon03's second day panel on Weblogs in Presidential Politics (monitored via RealAudio webcast of Room 202). Someone in the discussion recalled a comment on Day One that blogs like Howard Dean's are "revolutionizing." He compared that to real revolutionary blogging, using the example of a political blogger in Iran who was arrested in April for the content of his blog, triggering a grassroots support movement from the blogosphere. There are a number of news articles contemporaneous with the arrest, of which the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review has one example. There is also a scholarly paper addressing the issue. See Babak Rahimi, Cyberdissent: The Internet in Revolutionary Iran. The piece is from Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal (VOL. 7 No. 3 - September 2003).

Abstract: This paper argues that the internet, as an advancing new means of communication, has played an important role in the ongoing struggle for democracy in Iran. While outlining its history in Iran amidst an ambiguous state response to its rapid development since 1993, the paper also attempts to show how the internet has opened a new virtual space for political dissent. The paper claims that the internet is an innovative method for resistance in that it essentially defies control and supervision of speech by authoritarian rule seeking to undermine resistance.

Please, via Comment or Trackback, are you aware of other scholarly papers on uses of blogs or similar "peer-to-peer" Internet tools for political dissent in jurisdictions comparable to that of Iran?

DougSimpson.com/blog (monitoring Day Two Room 202 via RealAudio webcast)

Posted by dougsimpson at October 5, 2003 12:01 PM | TrackBack

"The conservative Islamic government is forced to take notice of the broad coverage given to Sina Motallebi's arrest and the ensuing online petition drive demanding his freedom. In a wide-ranging interview, he tells OJR about the 23 days spent behind bars, and how the events led to his leaving his homeland and moving to Holland."

Mark Glaser, "Iranian Journalist Credits Blogs for Playing Key Role in His Release From Prison," Online Journalism Review 1/9/04 at: http://www.ojr.org/ojr/glaser/1073610866.php

Posted by: Doug Simpson at January 13, 2004 01:15 PM