The revolution won't be blogged, but it will be online.
The revolution won't be blogged, but it will be online.In June, 2005, political bloggers in the U.S. were riding high. They weren't able to get Howard Dean into the White House, but they did help make him head of the Democratic Party. Liberal bloggers claimed the scalp of former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (since regrown); conservative bloggers basked in the warm glow of "Rathergate," which brought down Dan Rather for his ignorance of the finer points of typesetting.With such political power at the "netroots" level in the U.S., surely it was only a matter of time before bloggers showed their international strength, challenging repressive regimes abroad. The smart money for a web-led upheaval was on Iran, where more than 70,000 Iranian bloggers were discussing politics and personal life with furious intensity.In the last election, Dr. Mostafa Moeen, the reformist candidate for president, had the backing of many Iranian bloggers. Reading Iranian blogs-especially those written in both Farsi and English-could easily give the impression that Moeen was the front-runner, and that Iran was headed toward an era of progressive politics led by the power of free online speech. Alas, Moeen's poor showing and the victory of the conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were reminders that the effect of internet tools on real-world politics is more complicated than American cyber-optimism might suggest. Simply being able to speak freely online isn't a sufficient precondition for political change.
|The efforts in Kenya and Bahrain haven't topped a government or ended a politician's career ... yet.|