In fact, by the government shutting down these websites, the end effect achieved is that everyone is alerted to what is going on in the state, causing the news to spread faster. Also, internet shutdown allows people to be creative and use social networking sites to send coded messages, therefore still creating political awareness and enforcing political change in the long run (Feith 5). Furthermore, social networking sites like Twitter have an open API that allows other web service providers to insert a stream of tweets. This makes Twitter versatile even when there is an internet shutdown. For example, in Iran, after the government shut down all internet sources people were still able to access Twitter. One tweet read “all internet & mobile networks are cut. We ask everyone in Tehran to go onto their rooftops and shout Idaho Akbar in protest #Iran Election (Suvillan).” This characteristic of Twitter has ensured continued expression of political opinions. Many have argued that social networking sites have led to individuals being maimed, killed or even imprisoned by dictatorial governments for expressing their opinion (Lynne). However, without sacrificial lambs that are willing to voice their opinions, politics would be nonexistent. In fact, states that embrace freedom of speech was first formed by people speaking out. The opposition also argues that social networking sites have led people to be sued for posting defamatory and indecent messages on their status updates. Therefore, these social sites may not be the best place to post opinions (Bill 38-39). Still, these social sites encourage people to offer their points of view. Whether these points of view are regarded as slanderous or offensive to the reader, it is still an expressed opinion and a way of connecting people. Updates on social networking sites keep people who are championing for a particular cause to be informed. For example, Twitter was explicitly used in the protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president.
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