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A View from Brad King

Iranian Text Messaging & the Masses

Iranian authorities are concerned over the populace’s use of text messages to bad-mouth politicians – and hard-line presidential hopeful Mahmood Ahmadinejad sent an ominous message to those using SMS when he said he had the names and addresses of people…

  • June 22, 2005

Iranian authorities are concerned over the populace’s use of text messages to bad-mouth politicians – and hard-line presidential hopeful Mahmood Ahmadinejad sent an ominous message to those using SMS when he said he had the names and addresses of people engaged in this activity, according to this story.

From the story:

Iran’s ultra-conservative judiciary has now threatened to prosecute people who send text messages with the aim of “denigrating” candidates.

The rise of mobile media first caught my attention – as it did for many others, I assume – with the publication of Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs. In it, he discussed how mobile users, largely made up of people under 30, were using text messages to thwart government crackdowns during elections.

Since then, I’ve followed from afar (although truth be told, I text my girlfriend constantly throughout the day) Flash Mobs and other mobile social networking. I spend a lot of time writing about the cultural gutter – video games, anime, digital music – but I do it because I’m convinced that in these places, we can see emerging trends that will, at some point, be adopted by a more mainstream audience.

Our own esteemed Wade Roush has a great running blog about just such things.

Texting is one of the phenomenons, meant as a great way for wireless carriers to make money by allowing people to connect seamlessly, which has turned into a powerful tool that is manipulated – in the best possible way – by the masses.

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