Thursday, February 18, 2010

Section 03 Twitter, Vectors, Iran, Noise

“In every weird global media event, new dimensions to the vector field are “discovered,” and new technical properties of the vector implemented” (Wark).

This phenomenon is best explored through the use of Twitter during the recent Iranian election. When media coverage was insufficient, the new vector utilized by the Iranian citizens was twitter. Twitter allowed Iranians to express their dissidence and/or support for President Ahmadinejad. As the Iranians felt constrained by the current political climate, new ways of communication through twitter were explored; new lines of communication were formed.

In June 2009, The U.S State department contacted Twitter to ask the startup to hold on running a server update “to protect the interests of Iranians using the service to protest the presidential election that took place on June 12.” (Time Magazine). Iranian tweets had created a new vector of communication that had brought a local situation out into the global.

Inevitably, for the same reasons that Twitter was useful for the Iranians (instant anecdotal information can become public), it was perhaps counter-productive because of the constant, instant, and numerous flows of information; numerous vectors of communication were flowing from many people. I am interested in discussing the role of “noise” based in the Shannon-Weaver model mentioned by Ang in the context of this example. I also want to discuss the role of the sender and receiver when the sender sends information without a known receiver/destination.

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