Power of Images in Media & Iran’s Twitter Revolution

Tiananmen Square Massacre Tank ImagePowerful Influence of Images in Media

When I say Tiananmen Square Massacre, what is the first thought or image that comes to your mind? For the vast majority of people it is the image of the young man making a stand in front of the rolling tank.

There are many such images or photographs out there that has forever influenced public perception. One can cry all you want about starving children, but nothing moves a person emotionally until they see a picture of precious young child starving without food.

This is the power of images. Whether an image of news, or the images we see on TV.

The Iran Twitter Revolution

As you may or may not know, everyone has been following the news of the turmoil in Iran through the Internet. As journalists are not allowed (or more like afraid) to officially transmit news out of that country, all the recently events have been followed through YouTube videos and twitter updates. It has been one of the most interesting phenomenons of late.

Iran Election Protest ImagesHundreds of Thousands of Iranians have been protesting the recent elections between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mir-Hossein Mousavi and 2 other candidates. The crowds are crying fraud due to multiple suspicious figures and the bias way the government conducted the elections. The following demonstrations are now being captured on YouTube videos and being twittered all around the globe. The Tehran’s leaders had taken down telephone systems, took down websites, confiscated tapes from journalists and dispatched police to beat and arrest anyone who dares to protest. The leaders have done everything they could to try to control the news coming out of Iran. Yet they completely underestimated the power of the citizen journalists and the use of social media. Iran, as a highly computer literate country, had citizen hackers working to keep media lines open while the government continually try to shut them down.

One example of Iranian Twittering about the Demonstration: Tehran Bureau

YouTube Videos of Recent Demonstrations

Protest News Coverage from Different Parts of Iran

Power of a Images in Turning Public Opinion

Recently a young woman named Neda Agha-Soltan (Neda means “voice” or “the calling” in Farsi) was shown on video being shot by a sniper’s bullet during a demonstration. As she fell to the ground, she instantly became the face of “freedom”, the symbol of the entire opposition. As this video, which was caught on a cell phone camera, spread quickly around the globe, it has strongly impacted the view of the world’s public opinion.

“[Neda] has become a global symbol of innocence destroyed by evil.” – Times Online

Below is an excerpt about the power of images by Breakpoint
Note: The Book referenced here called “How Now Shall We Live?” is one of my favorite books of all time.

Other photos have moved entire nations. As I wrote in my book, How Now Shall We live?, I’ll never forget the first time I saw the famous 1972 photo of a little Vietnamese girl, Kim Phuc, running away after a bombing, her skin burned by napalm. That photo broke my heart and the hearts of countless others, and as I would later write, it “became an emblem for an entire nation questioning its reason for being in Vietnam.”

Another photograph from Vietnam had a similar effect: the photo of South Vietnamese General Nguyen executing a Viet Cong prisoner in February 1968. The picture has often been cited as the image that “as much as any, turned public opinion against the war”—even though the photographer, Eddie Adams, who saw both sides of the story, had not intended it that way.

Adams later wrote, “The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world.”

Adams was right. For better or for worse, images shape our thinking, our emotions, and our responses to the world around us. Context is always important, for sometimes images can mislead, as Eddie Adams discovered. But sometimes images can show us the truth about ordinary people, people just like us, fighting for the same rights that we so often take for granted.

Could the video of Neda’s lifeblood pouring out on the streets of Tehran be the image that changes everything for her country?

That I don’t know. But I do know this. No matter how hard the Iranian government tries to silence the calls for freedom, Neda has given her fellow Iranians a voice that the world can’t help but hear.

  • What is your opinion about the power of images in media?
  • What does this tell us about how we should approach the intake of all media such as tv shows and movies?
  • What is your reaction to Iran’s Twitter Revolution and the role of social media?
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Facebook vs MySpace vs Twitter Statistics: Raising $200 Million

Facebook vs Myspace vs Twitter Growth Statistics

Facebook vs Myspace vs Twitter Visitor Statistics
Facebook vs Myspace vs Twitter Visitor Statistics (via ComScore)

Facebook started off as a small social network popular among some college students. Then in the past few years Facebook’s users have skyrocketed as Facebook went mainstream. First among college students, then once it was open to the public, it blew the gates open as millions of new users young and old joined to check out this new social network. In April 2009, the social network passed 300 million unique visitors a month according to ComScore. 160% increase from April of 2008. Facebook also has 225 monthly active users.   Twitter continues strong as it jumped 70% in March with 32 million worldwide uniques, while MySpace has flat lined at 123 million uniques a month. MySpace has recently shaken up their leadership in order to rejuvenate their stagnating figures.

Click Here to Follow Clean Cut Media on Twitter!

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Twitter Statistics: Visitor Growth

Twitter US Visitors Growth in 2009
Twitter US Visitors Growth in 2009

Twitter Statistics

  • 60% Abandonment Rate

There was some recent news about Twitter having a whopping 60% abandonment rate. This means that for every 5 people using twitter, 3 people decide not to continue using it. This makes sense as Twitter perks curiosity but not many people can maintain or want to maintain a continual feed of “tweets”. This is the same reason there are millions of blogs that are never updated. It is simply a lot of work! We can vouch for it!

  • 17 Million Unique US Visitors in April

However despite a large abandonment rate, ComScore released Twitter Statistics for April and it showed Twitter reaching 17 million unique visitors in the US. That is a whopping 83 percent increase from March! In March Twitter had already doubled it’s user base from the month before.

That Twitter Statistics include the launch of Clean Cut Media’s own Twitter Feed in April. Follow us Here:

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Viral Video: ‘Twouble with Twitter’ & Flutter the New Twitter

Twitter Fail Whale - Twouble with Twitter
Twitter Fail Whale - Twouble with Twitter

What is Twitter?

Twitter is known as a micro-blogging site. It is a place where a person can create a Twitter profile where one can post entries or “tweets” of 140 characters or less. Friends and Strangers alike can follow your tweets just like anyone would follow a blog. Twitter is one of the most well known social networks today.

Does CleanCutMedia Twitter?
Follow CleanCutMedia Twitter Here! Whopping two “tweets”.  

Below are two fun viral videos that pokes fun at Twitter and the type of info that it is used for. Twitter has often been ridiculed for being the medium in which people update each other about every mundane thing they do. “Watching TV with my Cat” “I forgot how much I like my pickles”


“Twouble with Twitter”

This is a hilarious video of two people at work discussing twitter. One person just started to use twitter and is raving about it’s uses while his co-worker adamantly claims that its absurd. More hilarious if you are familiar with Twitter. (Info: The White Twitter Fail Whale is what appears on the screen when Twitter has a problem such as too many users hitting their servers at once. The Fail Whale has it’s own subculture including t-shirts, clubs and sculptures). Warning, little blood at the end.

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Social Networking overtakes Email

Social Network Media Connection
Social Network Media Connection

Social Network Moves Up

A new study released by Nielsen has shown that Social Networking has overtaken email as the most popular internet activity. As popular social networks like Facebook and MySpace have features built to stay in communication with friends and connections many people are utilizing those communication mediums to “email” or “chat” or “post” with one another.

Nielsen reports that “member communities” exceeds email participation 67% to 65%. This is in conjunction with the fact that social networking and blogging is growing twice as fast as other drivers of users such as email, search and portals. Two-thirds of internet users visited a social networking site in 2008. Social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace account for nearly 10% of all internet time. Facebook continues to lead the way by accounting for 30% of all internet users in the largest global markets.


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Social Networks in Asia: Korea, Japan, China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore

Social Media Networks: Unstoppable Growth

Social Media has been rapidly growing in the US in the last few years. Social networks such as Facebook and MySpace are now household names in the likes of Google and Yahoo. 1 out of every 5 people who go online have visited Facebook! It has impacted the way people communicate and relate with one another. People are more connected through easy access, however, as technology becomes more ubiquitous, general social skills and relationship building has taken a hit. It has caused unthinkable issues among the youth, and has even made its mark on our government. As social media continues to make a tremendous impact on US culture how has it impacted overseas in the countries of Asia?

Social Media Networks in Asia: Rising in its Own Way

Social media is stronger than ever not just here in the US but all around the world. The social network users in Asia has grown to an incredible 456 million users. That is almost one third of all online users in the world.

OgilvyOne Asia Pacific, a US based marketing agency came out with a study “Can Brands Have a Social Life” which covered the general differences in the adoption and use of social media by the largest Asian countries. Some are listed below.

South Korea: Gaming Capital & the Ride of Cyworld

Fact: Nationwide broadband coverage and high quality mobile phones has allowed users to post online content at will. South Korea has 92% broadband penetration making it one of the most wired in the world.

Popular Activities: Online Gaming, buying music online, sharing information and interacting wiki-style.

Popular Networks: Majority of users use Naver and Daum, both Korean based search engines. Cyworld, the second largest music and video store after iTunes, has 48% of the market share. Cyworld generates sales revenue of over $100 million just from song downloads.

Online Gaming: Lineage II, Korea’s most popular online game touts 14 million users, double that of the infamous World of Warcraft. The best online gamers become professional game players and are treated like celebrities.

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Social Media effects on Law and the Legal System

Effects of Social Media in Law

In the past few years, the emergence of social media and the easy ability for users to communicate has drastically changed the news media landscape. Social online communities has allowed many users to united over various issues and form strong widespread interest groups. Whether through user generated news stories, opinion blogs, message boards, interest based websites, there is a large shift towards transparency and participation. In the minds of internet users, user reviews and opinions has become the source to get authentic, objective news.

A great example of the impact of social media is the recent Obama campaign. His campaign utilized a full social media strategy posting 1,800 videos on YouTube that generated 110 million views. They created a Facebook group with 3 million fans and a Myspace page with nearly 850,000 friends.

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Social Network – Facebook – Friends Forever

Facebook Logo - Large Square“Thanks to Facebook, I never lose touch with anyone. And that, my Friend, is a problem.”

A perusal of my Facebook Friend roster reveals that I, a medium-social individual of only middling lifetime popularity, have never lost a friend. They’re all there: elementary school friends, high school friends, college friends, work friends, friends of friends, friends of ex-girlfriends—the constellation of familiar faces crowds my Friendbox like medals on Mussolini’s chest. I’m Friend-rich—at least onscreen. I’ve never lost touch with anyone, it seems. What I’ve lost is the right to lose touch. – Wired Magazine

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How Safe are Social Networks?

In June, Common Sense Media released a comparative analysis the Internet safety features on the most popular social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, YouTube, Club Penguin among others.

Though there has been significant improvements over time in building safety features for the users, more than half of the sites were deemed not adequate. Also many of the features are not easy to find or too obscure for the users. However it is still too easy for someone (think: children or teens) to lie about their age or access bad or inappropriate sites or videos.

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