EYE IN THE SKY

State Dept. a Fan of Twitter

Suddenly, Twitter doesn't seem so narcissistic. The State Department specifically asked Twitter to postpone scheduled maintenance that would have temporarily shut down the service, as it has emerged as an indispensable source of information for those following the protests, including the U.S., which has no embassy in Iran. But some Twitter feeds are being flooded with false rumors. Earlier today, tweets hysterically warned that the army was coming to Tehran. "RT From Iran: CONFIRMED!! Army moving into Tehran against protesters! PLEASE RT! URGENT!" And the tweets continue, apparently spreading via people outside Tehran. People have been trying to weed out the extra noise by continuously changing their hash tags so earnest users can still get information. "If you want to help Iranians, stop spreading lies #tehran #iranelection," read one tweet. Another user, with a following of over 20,000, asked people to hold their tweets until he gave them a new hash tag. There are warnings not to use real names or search for each other via Twitter. Another rally is scheduled for 4 pm tomorrow in central Tehran, according to the latest reports. But phones are reportedly completely down in a neighborhood in western Tehran and cell phones have been down for days—which begs the question, who are these wizards still tweeting? Reliable messages from email and Facebook have been all but silent today.