Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Why Twitter Didn’t Go Down: The State Department Told It Stay Up (But Not Forever!)

Skeptical about the impact of Twitter on the unrest in Tehran? The State Department isn’t: It asked the service to reschedule its planned maintenance/outage so Iranians could use it to communicate in and outside of the country.

Reuters: “‘We highlighted to them that this was an important form of communication,’ said the [unnamed U.S.] official of the conversation the department had with Twitter at the time of the disputed Iranian election. He declined further details.”

CNN: “Senior officials say the State Department asked Twitter to refrain for going down for periodic scheduled maintenance at this critical time to ensure the site continues to operate. Bureau’s and offices across the State Department, they say, are paying very close attention to Twitter and other sites to get information on the situation in Iran.”

UPDATE: Even the State Department can’t keep Twitter up forever. It’s nighttime in Tehran and Twitter is down — the company’s status blog dedicated to stuff like this indicates it should be shuttered from about 5pm tp 6:30 pm eastern time. UPDATE2: It’s back!


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald