This is certainly different—social networkers and other sorts of computer users are maintaining connections with Iranian dissidents despite efforts by the government there to close all channels of communication.
#iranelection and #gr88 (and yes, I am too old for this Twitter stuff), however, are flooded with requests to turn avatars green and warnings to only trust reliable sources on Twitter, as if anyone would actually know how to tell the difference. Others advocate changing locations in profiles to “hide” Iranian dissidents on the service, which seems a little naive.
Recurring “re-tweets” involve rumors that YouTube is removing protest videos (they are still up as of this posting), Twitter maintenance delays, complaints that CNN and other news agencies were posting dissidents’ screen names, and fake IP-logging sites. Some people are advocating DDOS attacks on Iranian government sites, which is a slippery slope, to say the least. There are also efforts to provide proxy links to defeat censorship.
The opposition candidate is still on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mousavi1388. One must not, of course, confuse dissidence with moral rectitude.
At least one journalist wondered aloud this morning if the Tiananmen Square uprisings would have turned out differently if they had this technology 20 years ago. It remains to be seen what affect it will have this time.
Video of protest, baton-wielding thugs on dirt bikes and scooters (no subtitles, though), and apparent backlash by the crowd: