How do you know if you can trust tweets from Iran?

National Public RadioJune 17, 2009 

Many media organizations, present company included, have turned to social networking sites, including Twitter in the search for first-hand information on what's happening in Iran, especially since Iranian authorities have greatly restricted what foreign journalists there can report on and have stopped renewing journalists' visas.

But who can tell what's reliable and what isn't on Twitter? It's impossible to know even if what you're reading was actually written by people in Tehran or elsewhere in Iran, especially since there's a movement for as many people in the Twittersphere to use the Iranian capital as their location a là "I'm Spartacus" to make it harder for Iranian censors to stop tweets that are actually from Iran.

The unintended consequence of that move was to make it even harder for the non-Iranian censors to figure out what's really from Iran and what isn't. For instance, how do we know that Gabhan is really in Tehran and not, say, spoofing from Johannesburg?

And even if he's in Iran, how do we know his information is credible?

Read the full post at NPR's news blog, The Two-Way

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