2009 Iran election
Following the disputed 2009 Iranian presidential elections, the Jerusalem Post website was accused by US blog Charting Stocks of fomenting instability in Iran by promoting a number of newly created Twitter accounts on the issue.
In an article which rejected the allegations, the Jerusalem Post, interviewed Dr Amichai-Hamburger:
- "We used to be customers of the media," said Dr. Yair Amichai-Hamburger, director of the Research Center for Internet Psychology at Sammy Ofer School of Communications at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center. "Now we produce the media."
- Regular, everyday people have become journalists and social activists, he added, and a group of people with a shared interest can form a small but influential army. This allows the ability for real, dynamic opposition that is nearly impossible to suppress, even in a dictatorship like Iran, Amichai-Hamburger said.
- Twitter in particular works well for such communication because it is short, simple and instant. Amichai-Hamburger explained that Twitter's immediateness escalates users' emotions, because people who are always online and always connected are always involved.
- "It's not like reading the news," explained Amichai-Hamburger. "You are in the news."
There is a certain irony in the Jerusalem Post's approach to Dr Amichai-Hamburger, given that the IDC Herzliya was itself the base for the HelpUsWin.org social networking campaign during the Israeli offensive in Gaza in late 2008/early 2009, and at least one communications student involved in that effort, Arik Fraimovich, had taken a prominent role in the Twitter campaign on the Iranian election.
- Yair Amichai-Hamburger, The Social Net, Psychology Today.
- Faculty, Sammy Ofer School of Communications, IDC Herzliya, accessed 19 June 2009.
- Proof: Israeli Effort to Destabilize Iran Via Twitter #IranElection, Charting Stocks, 15 June 2009.
- RICKY BEN-DAVID AND RACHEL GEIZHALS, Is JPost behind the 'Iranian Twitter Revolution'?, JPost.com, 18 June 2009.
- Jessica Freiman, IDC students work to win media war, Jerusalem Post, 4 January 2009.
- Jay Meydad, Topify Upgrades Twitter’s Weakest Link, Jay Meydad's Life Mashup, 4 March 2009.
- helpiranelection.com, accessed 18 June 2009.