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Iranian Election Text Messages Could Backfire As Politicians Freak Out

from the ah,-non-democracies... dept

There have been plenty of stories about how mobile text messaging has played a role in recent elections in places like South Korea and the Philippines, among other places. So it's not really surprising to find out that text messaging has been very popular in Iran as well, which has a tremendously large younger generation. However, unlike in those other places, it appears that the politicians in question haven't quite learned how to adapt to the changing technology. Since most of the effort is against a particularly candidate, he's now now threatening revenge against anyone who sent SMS messages that were negative towards him: "I have the address and phone numbers of those who have slandered me (in the text messages)." The local judiciary is also making it clear that such messages are illegal and they'll prosecute those involved. Imagine if you had a similar situation in the US during elections where mud-slinging is encouraged? Given Iran's history of imprisoning bloggers and others who they dislike, this is, obviously, a serious matter -- but it's just a reminder that the things that we take for granted about open communications thanks to new technologies aren't quite so embraced in other parts of the world.

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