Forcing reform online

Forcing reform online
: A good round-up story on the role of online in Iran’s real reform movement by Luke Thomas at Salon. For those who’ve been following this story here, there’s not a lot very new and it all but ignores weblogs and the strong voices that are making a difference there. Nonetheless, it’s an overview of why the net matters to this (and thus every) democracy emerging from repression:

But the real story is that by blocking free and fair elections, clerical hard-liners have driven dissent online — lighting up thousands of alternate channels of communication for the Iranian people.

In Iran, the Internet is becoming the most successful route around oppression. It gives ordinary Iranians access to real news and information. They can express their opinions freely and communicate with their countrymen residing in nations all around the world.

Indeed, the more the government cracks down, the more Web sites dedicated to changing the system spring up. There are now dozens of Web sites providing news and views in the local Farsi language.

  • Anonymous

    How is this model playing out in China? I’ll have to admit to making the usual assumptions about repression and comunication under a totalitarion regime when I read the headlines about Chinese filtering and crackdowns on web activities. Has the web really been an instrument of political change in China? I read a lot about the change in China’s society from economics.

  • Anonymous

    How is this model playing out in China? I’ll have to admit to making the usual assumptions about repression and comunication under a totalitarion regime when I read the headlines about Chinese filtering and crackdowns on web activities. Has the web really been an instrument of political change in China? I read a lot about the change in China’s society from economics.

  • Monsieur

    Not probably in China. But based on recent statistics about 10% of the Iranian population uses internet; the number is growing very fast (last year the growth rate was 90%). If we assume that most of these internet users are young educated people, then we could say a big chunk of the young and influential part of the iranian community has been using internet as an effective tool for communication and reform.