dinsdag 16 juni 2009

Why Bearingwitness?

Twitter is down for maintenance, time to explain a bit more about this idea.

I've been following the updates on #iranelection since sunday and wanted to help, even though I live far away from Iran. Some of the images and videos were incredibly gut-wrenching, and the idea that an entire generation is rising now to cast off the yoke of tyranny, was awe-inspiring.

But after following #iranelection for a while, I thought of a few things:

1. There is a lot of crap in the tweetstream. Companies using the #iranelection-tag to market their own websites, people disseminating false information, and not-up-to-date information. All of this takes away our attention from what's twitters strength: up-to-date and realtime footage from events in iran as they unfold. So, I wanted to actively repost all the relevant information and disseminate it as far as possible.

2. Many people upload videos and photos about what's happening. These loose the risk of drowning in the tweetstream, and if they they don't drawn, they run the risk of being removed by the regime's information police. Yet these videos are terribly important: the more we see them, the more the efforts of those few brave souls posting them are worthwhile. We see the violence, we see the oppression - we see them bleed and yes, we see them die as well. Horrible footage, but it needs to be seen.

It needs to be seen because by seeing it we know the regime for who the are: terrible brutes. Horrible opressors who do not hesitate to beat women, to shoot randomly in a crowd, arrest people randomly. They say that "what is seen can not be unseen" - and that is exactly what bearing witness is all about. Witnessing, seeing, knowing the truth.

That's why I try to post as many youtube videos as I can. And I urge you to do the same: save and spread the links to youtubevideos, twitpics, flickr-streams, whatever. Every image, every snippet of info helps us to see what is going on there.

Also, while you're at it: please download the video. It might well be that the videos will be taken down by the regime as soon as they are uploaded. Capture the videos, store them on your harddisk and re-upload them whenever you see fit.

Thanks for bearing witness.

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