Is 140 Characters Worthy Of The Nobel Peace Prize?
Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama were all previous prize winners. Barack Obama may be in the running this year. So is it possible that his competition could possibly be a social network, the likes of Twitter? Does a platform, an inanimate entity warrant the same consideration as a person?
On June 22, 2009, it began when former Deputy National Security Advisor Mark Pfeifle suggested it in an interview with Fox News, discussing the Iran Election.
Subsequently WebProNews talked with several people regarding the issue and their thoughts on this idea.
The Christian Science Monitor wrote, "without Twitter, the people of Iran would not have felt empowered and confident to stand up for freedom and democracy. They did so because they knew the world was watching. With Twitter, they now shout hope with a passion and dedication that resonates not just with those on their street, but with millions across the globe."
While other social networks did get involved, it was a dominoe effect that started with Twitter at the epicenter creating an echo chamber that amplified the message. At the height of the protest activities, according to Mashable.com's Ben Parr, more than 221,000 Iran tweets were sent in one hour. In one day, 3,000 Iranian videos were uploaded on YouTube, and 2.2 million blog entries were posted. Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi amassed more than 100,000 supporters on Facebook.
Controversy is rampant dependent on who you talk to. Some say if Twitter is to be considered, it should be its founders. Others say, that if you were to ask the common citizen on Tehran who Biz Stone or Evan Williams were, you would receive a blank stare.
Co-founder Biz Stone has said Twitter is "less about the triumph of technology, and more about the triumph of humanity." I think he is right. In my humble opinion, while I am a devout member of the Twitterverse, I am hard pressed to see Twitter worthy of this prestigious acknowledgment. Twitter did not march on the streets, it did not risk the life of any its staff, and its founders never physically ventured into the Middle East. If anyone is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize it is the Iranian protesters. Their desire to be free of oppression is a telling story and a historic moment in history that needs to be given this important spotlight.
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