You can make a conspiracy theory out of anything, but this article is ridiculous.
The writer claims that @change_for_Iran, @persiankiwi, @stopahmadi and others are fake accounts created in Israel. The six points he uses to back up the claim are pathetic.
1. They each created their twitter accounts on Saturday June 13th.
That would be the day when it became clear that the election had turned out badly... and that a new anonymous Twitter account would be necessary. (Tweeting from a named account would be incredibly dangerous. A few courageous and/or foolish souls continued to do this.)
2. Each had extremely high number of Tweets since creating their profiles.
Well, duh. The whole point of creating these accounts was to alert the rest of the world, and each other, what was going on.
3. “IranElection” was each of their most popular keyword
Hello?! That was the subject of their tweets. IranElection was the number 1 trend on Twitter generally.
4. With some very small exceptions, each were posting in ENGLISH.
If the goal is to raise awareness of their situation in the rest of the world, what language would you use?
5. Half of them had the exact same profile photo
For the first few hours these accounts were just using the default Twitter icon. Then some began adopting the same green icon as a sign of unity. Copy, paste, click. How hard is that?
6. Each had thousands of followers, with only a few friends. Most of their friends were EACH OTHER.
The writer is clearly clueless about Twitter. Why would they follow anyone other than other Iranian twitterers, any of whom would be easy to find with the 'IranElection' hashtag?
He makes great play of the fact that the Jerusalem Post was the first to report their existence. But its report was posted many hours after thousands of Twitterers had already discovered them online. How were they found? Because they hash-tagged their tweets #Iranelection. Anyone following that tag immediately saw that they were worth following.
I was only Change_for_Iran's 1100th follower, but was still well ahead of that Post story. The power and significance of what Change_for_Iran was writing was obvious, and it certainly reads as if it were genuine: the tweets included doubts, typos, retractions and the occasional flailing out, as well as heart-stopping descriptions of real-time events such as a tear-gas attack. But to make doubly sure I contacted Twitter's CEO Evan William (@ev) and he confirmed to me that @change_for_Iran appeared to be tweeting from inside Iran.
I think history will show that the use of Twitter and other tools by these students has taken social media to a new level of significance by engaging millions of people around the world in a personal way in an issue they otherwise wouldn't look twice at. Whether or not you agree with their protests, they at least deserve respect for incredible courage and ingenuity.