Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bloggers ‘far freer’ than other news media in Iran

A study by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School has found that “despite periodic persecution,” many Iranians are able to use blogs to express “viewpoints challenging the ruling ideology of the Islamic Republic,” The New York Times reported Sunday.

Researchers used computer software to analyze more than 6,000 blogs in order to get a general sense of the issues being discussed, and read more than 500 postings.

According to the article, Iran’s blogs mirror “the erratic, fickle and often startling qualities of life in the Islamic republic itself. The rules of what is permissible fluctuate with maddening imprecision, so people test the limits.”

The government filters out numerous blogs that criticize the government, religion or cultural practices, yet many seemingly critical blogs still exist. The study found that less than a quarter of those pushing for change were blocked.

The study has produced a map to illustrate the different attitudes and interests of the blogs. Resembling the night sky, each dot represents one blog, and the groupings and colors illustrate the quantity and topics covered.

For the full article, click here.

To view the map produced by the study, click here.


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