Thursday, June 18, 2009

How One 27-Year-Old Helped Iranian Protestors

Here is a profile of the 27-year-old State Department worker (picked by Condi Rice by the way) who was savvy enough to contact Twitter and ask them to delay their maintenance period so that Iranian Freedom Protestors could keep tweeting.

When BayNewser heard that someone from the State Department had emailed Twitter to ask them to delay maintenance to allow Iranians to continue tweeting, we pictured some fusty old guy at Foggy Bottom in a rumpled Brooks Brothers suit and wayward spectacles.

Imagine our surprise, then, when we learned that, instead, it was a 27-year-old whiz kid whose job is to advise the State Department on how to use social media to promote U.S. interests the Middle East.

And imagine our further surprise when we learned this young gentleman wasn't one of Barack Obama's social media geniuses, but instead was a Condi Rice pick hired specifically to advise the State Department on young people in the Middle East and how to "counter-radicalize" them.

According to the New York Times, it was Jared Cohen, a member of the Policy Planning Staff, who contacted Twitter on Monday, inquiring about their plan to perform maintenance in what would be the middle of the day, Iran time. Following that contact, Twitter decided to postpone their maintenance so that it would take place in the middle of the night Iran-time, even though that meant it would be the middle of the day U.S. time.
Iran update here.

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