Remember Iran’s “Twitter Revolution”? Seems it may have gone the way of Moldova’s.
Per Valleywag’s Ravi Somaiya—per, in turn, a study of Iran’s access to social media conducted by the British writer and analyst Charles Leadbeater, and researcher Annika Wong: less than one percent of the Iranian population is on Twitter.
The researchers, Somaiya notes,
have put together a report called Cloud Culture to be published by the British Council next year. Their statistical study, provided to me by Leadbeater, is based on figures from the social media analytics company Sysomos. It shows that such a tiny proportion of Iranians are on Twitter that any stories about a new movement based on the social network are meaningless. The figure they provide, by they way, includes the thousands of foreigners who changed their Twitter location to Tehran when the ‘Iranian internet revolution’ story struck after the elections in June and Facebook and Twitter were afire with Iran sentiment. So the likely figure is even lower.
If the study’s findings are true, that negates some of the sweeping claim-making that we saw during the immediate aftermath of the disputed election this summer: that social media are changing not only the way we communicate, but the way we engage with our governments. “This is it. The big one,” Clay Shirky said at the time. Maybe not.Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.