To sum up the arguments presented in this thesis, there is little doubt that some of the most optimistic expectations to the Internet in the 1990s were unfounded and exaggerated. The Internet is not a magic vessel, and it does not exist in a political and cultural vacuum. Even though the information available on the Internet cannot be controlled, the points of access to it can, to some extent, as can the individuals who use it be intimidated and discouraged from seeking it out. Just because the Internet contains the potential for the democratization of information does not mean that this is an inevitable result of the ongoing development in a given country.
In New Media in the Muslim World – the Emerging Public Sphere, Dale F. Eickelman and Jon W. Anderson writes about how Iranians in exile in the 1970s smuggled audiocassettes – then a new medium – with information, speeches and sermons into Iran. The opposition to the Shahs regime, which culminated in the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979, was partly facilitated by small media and new technology, slowly eroding the official censorship. Now, the children and grandchildren of that revolution are challenging the very regime that came into power 25 years ago, using small media and new technology in the shape of weblogs on the Internet. History is not without a sense of irony. And it sometimes repeats itself. Maybe it will do so this time, too?
8. august 2011
Nå er det en skummel øvelse å plukke enkeltstående sitater, siden det gjerne sier lite om det totale bildet. Likevel er det tankevekkende å lese "Fjordmans" oppsummering av sin masteroppgave fra 2004 - Blogging Iran - a case study of Iranian English Language weblogs - i lys av hans senere skriverier.