Iran’s Failed Facebook Revolution

Foreign Policy – Excerpt: “Now, many of the greens are experiencing a sort of idealism hangover. Mohammad Sadeghi, the 27-year old Iranian-German who administers Mousavi’s official Facebook page, admits that he doesn’t know what comes next. He has always managed to be one step ahead of the manifold events of the past year, but now he’s at a loss. He created the Facebook page last January, before Mousavi had even officially declared his candidacy, back in the days when Facebook was still freely accessible to any Internet user in Iran. In the following months, after the page had attracted a small but devoted following, Mousavi’s campaign reached out to him, expressing its desire to consult and cooperate with him in the run-up to the election. After the election, Mousavi’s Tehran-based campaign and his Germany-based Facebook site experienced diverging fates. Layers of campaign staff were hauled off to Iranian prisons, while the Facebook site saw an explosion in followers. Sadeghi decided that he had a responsibility to independently continue the campaign in Mousavi’s name, to serve as a meeting place, conference room, and bulletin board for sympathizers and activists. By his account, the Facebook page played a key role in propagating the defiant nightly “Allahu Akbar” chant and organizing the protest schedule linked to major Iranian and Shiite holidays.”

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