For over a year I've been predicting the use of texting to help facilitate looting in the United States. Well, I have a hunch the situation in Iran will take precedence. Of course, we've all seen the political unrest in Iran. Although protests have been conducted in over 50 cities, I imagine the main thrust of the unrest is in Tehran. Especially since the Neda woman got snipered and the footage was captured via the social network sites.
I'm thinking the use of twitter, despite the communication clampdown by the theocratic thugs, will be used heavily during the variety of ensuing phases of this rebellion. I'm assuming there will be continued protests. I could be wrong. Tehran is an incredibly modern, spread out city. It actually resembles Phoenix, AZ. It would be exceedingly difficult to mobilize the revolutionary guard and various govt. militia representatives to combat infrequent, sudden looting. This is the shit twitter was made for. Coordinating mass chaos in an instant. They've mentioned repeatedly on CNN, using twitter, that the timing and location of future protests must be kept secret right up until crunchtime. Well, there you go.
It'll be interesting to see if a group of well-coordinated citizens could take out a pipeline or something of monetary value. In the long run, torching a bus/ambulance has little effect. Of course, when over a hundred thousand people defy the Supreme Leader and participate in street protests - this is definitely an important component. But I suspect the military apparatus and conventional police forces will wear them down over time. I'm definitely not in tune with the general vibe on the streets of Tehran. I get my info like everyone else - mostly CNN/MSNBC and occasionally the BBC. Fox is so far out of the mainstream, one can hardly fathom how they could be viewed as a credible source of information in the Middle East.
Seriously though, the political upheaval, specifically in the capital city of Tehran, seems ripe for sudden and highly focused looting via twittering and other instant messaging forums. I guess it's dependent on how effectively the govt. can crack down on the existing communication systems. Obviously, they can kick out virtually every foreign news correspondent, but you just can't effectively impose martial law when everyone (particularly the youth) have cell phones with video messaging capabilities. I think the images of the 20 yr. old Neda Girl will have vast, far reaching implications. It reminds me of the guy who stood before the tank in Tianamin Square. Whether or not there's a political transformation or change in Iran - I don't know. In fact, I think it's plausible to say that A-Jad may have even legitimately won the election - I don't know. I do know one thing though. The images of the Neda woman will not be fleeting. I think they'll stand the test of time. I'm curious to see how this all pans out.
Wouldn't it be a fascinating development if the mullahs temporarily ban the use of cell phones and twittering because they "claim it's subversive to Islam" and "treasonous behavior designed to overthrow the existing government." Talk about oppression... If they could pull off something like that on such a massive scale, well, let's just say... for the love of Allah.