Simple Ways to Help Iranian Free Speech #IranElection #gr88

Posted on 17 June 2009. Filed under: Advocacy | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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I am neutral on the Iranian election. But I am very pro freedom of speech. Whether we agree or disagree with any given Iranian citizen, they ought to have the right to express their views. Here are simple ways you can help them defeat attempts at censorship in Iran:

1. Do you twitter? Change your twitter location to any city in Iran. If all of us are Iranians then it is a little harder for government censors to track down Iranian tweeters. (See list of Iranian cities at Some people say you should also change your time zone to Tehran time, which is 3.5 hours past GMT (GMT +3:30). Other people say the time zone is irrelevant. Decide for yourself.

2. Read a list of a few more simple ideas for how you can help at (This is the “BoingBoing” post for those of you who have been around enough to see it already. Also read 6 ways the Western World Can Support Iranian Activists at (Those of you looking for more ambitious ideas for how to be involved, read #4 and #5 below.)

3. Finished with #1 and #2 above? Recruit others to help too. Spread the word. Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Tweet this phrase:

    Simple ways to help Iranian free speech: #IranElection #gr88 Pls RT

  • Also consider copy/pasting this announcement into your blog or facebook page so more people will see it. Or simply link to its original home at (If you copy/paste, please copy the text from its original home to ensure that you have any updated URLs or other information.)
  • Also, consider voting for this blog post ( at one or more of the following:,; ( That will help more people find it.

4. Looking for more ideas how to help? Consult This provides instructions on how you can set up your own proxy server to help Iranians blog more safely (easier than you might think, though with certain caveats which you will need to read at the link). It also has more tips for how to participate in global dialogue and mobilize support in a way that protects the safety of Iranian bloggers and tweeters.

But before you pass along information about your proxy server, make sure it is running correctly. Many proxy servers don’t help because they aren’t configured correctly. Learn more about potential problems and how to fix them at And test your proxy at

5. Are you bilingual? Please consider providing translation assistance so that people all around the world can learn about ideas for how to support free speech no matter what language they communicate in. For more details, go to

6. Want to follow the “tweets” about Iran? At, do a search for #IranElection or #gr88 These are the two official hash tags used by Iranian bloggers themselves. (Hash tags are used to help find tweets on specific topics). As the “boing boing” post says, do be on guard. Some tweets are very legitimate, but others are rumors, speculation, or even outright disinformation.

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