Thursday, June 18, 2009

US confirms it asked Twitter to stay open to help Iran protesters

Obama administration asked Twitter website to postpone temporary shutdown

The Obama administration, while insisting it is not meddling in Iran, yesterday confirmed it had asked Twitter to remain open to help anti-government protesters.

The company had planned a temporary shutdown to overhaul its service in the middle of the night on Monday but the US state department put in a request to postpone this.

Many protesters have being using Twitter to spread information about rallies and to share news.

'People's voices should be heard': Barack Obama on the Iran situation

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, asked about this at a press conference yesterday, would neither confirm or deny it, saying only that a free press and a means of communication were important.

But the state department yesterday confirmed a request was made to Twitter.

The New York Times last night identified the author of the request as Jared Cohen, a 27-year-old state department official. Twitter complied with the request, delaying its overhaul until last night.

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