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Twitter: Nobel Peace Prize Candidate?

by on Jul.15, 2009, under News

Yes, you read that headline correctly. Those 140-character “tweets” coming from Iran might be enough to earn the microblogging site a Nobel Peace Prize, at least according to one source, and a respectable one, at that.

Mark Pfeifle, a former deputy national security adviser at the National Security Council, poses that possibility in an article he’s written for the Christian Science Monitor.

The former aide for George W Bush said that more than 220,000 Iran tweets were sent through Twitter every hour at its peak.

“When traditional journalists were forced to leave the country, Twitter became a window for the world to view hope, heroism, and horror,” he said.

“It became the assignment desk, the reporter, and the producer. And, because of this, Twitter and its creators are worthy of being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize,” he wrote in the Christian Science Monitor.

The annual Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to those who push for “fraternity between nations” and for “holding the promotion of peace”.

Previous winners of the award include Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr and the Dalai Lama.

Last year’s winner was former Finnish president and United Nations diplomat Martti Ahtisaari, who acted as a UN special envoy during the long running Kosovo-Serbia dispute.

Mr Pfeifle first mentioned the idea while being interviewed for Fox News last week.

“Twitter has been criticised as a time-waster – a way for people to inform their friends about the minutiae of their lives, 140 characters at a time,” he said.

“But in the past month, 140 characters were enough to shine a light on Iranian oppression and elevate Twitter to the level of change agent.

“Even the government of Iran has been forced to utilise the very tool they attempted to squelch to try to hold on to power.”

The ongoing conflict is still being tweeted everyday by thousands – both inside and outside the country.

Mr Pfeifle also stressed the importance of other social networks, like Facebook, where Iranian presidential candidate Hossein Mousavi has amassed more than 100,000 supporters.

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