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Mapping Iran’s Blogosphere on Election Eve

By John Kelly and Bruce Etling


Based on our monitoring of the Iranian blogosphere on election eve, it looks like Mousavi has broader support in the online blog community than Ahmadinejad. (For a broader understanding of the different attentive clusters in Iran check out our new online interactive Iran blogosphere map). The below maps show who is linking to websites associated with the candidates. It’s pretty interesting to see the contrast between Ahmadinejad (, whose links are very concentrated in the Conservative Politics cluster, and Mousavi (, whose links come from all over the map, not just the reformist politics group.



We are particularly struck by how many links come from the poetry cluster, which rarely links to political sites. Also, Moussavi has even more links from the CyberShi’a than Ahmadinejad.

This online interest doesn’t necessarily translate to the offline world, but it may indicate a broader level of excitement about Mousavi in the electorate, particularly among those outside his expected base of supporters, which could ultimately lead to higher voter turn out for Mousavi.

As Hamid Tehrani wrote earlier this week, YouTube is being used a lot by Iranians in this election. Here is one of the YouTube videos most linked to by reformists.
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And here is the video most linked to by conservatives, which Hamid pointed to earlier in the week as an example of conservatives trying to discredit Khatami, who has supported Mousavi since he dropped out of the race himself.

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Iran experts caution against trying to predict election winners Iran (because we’ve been surprised before), and we’d caution against predicting a Mousavi win just on this analysis, but it is certainly interesting to see the larger level of online support for Mousavi on the eve of the election. We’ll have to leave it to the voters at this point.

Some additional data and analysis on Iran’s election eve blogosphere is posted on Morningside Analytics Shifting the Debate blog. You can also catch an interview and find all of Hamid Tehrani’s posts on the Internet and the Iranian election on the PBS Web site.

Check back here next week for the big release of our Arabic blogosphere paper and accompanying event at USIP.

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6 Responses to “Mapping Iran’s Blogosphere on Election Eve”

  1. Iranian elections: live | jmppiran Says:

    […] John Kelly and Bruce Etling wrote: This online interest doesn’t necessarily translate to the offline world, but it may […]

  2. The Crossed Pond » Primers on the Iranian Election Says:

    […] The second is a map of the Farsi-speaking blogosphere, which has been alight with election coverage. A good place to start if you want a portal into at-the-source coverage. […]

  3. Dalai Says:

    I really like your research, well done. Do you have the ability to map Twitter as well? I know that Twitter went down in Iran on Friday.

  4. ElhamA ghili Says:

    I think the best way to objct to the injustice of Islamic republic is using GANDHI”S ‘ STRATEGY . Peace and non violence or ” Non-REACTION”.

    If all the people who voted for Moosavo wear “WHITE CLOTHING ”
    ( reminder of peace to themselves and to the worlds” and walk in the streets around the world while holding the feeling of PEACE and freedom in their HEARTS. THIS WAY WE ARE USING THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE. Then watch the effect of this divine energy all over the world !!!!! By feeling the peace inside of us, we will bring it out to the physical…. ” BE THe CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN TH E WORLD, Gandhi ”

    Islamic republic might be able to hide te number of votes but this way they CAN NOT hide the number of people in the streets . Gandhi’s strategy is a higher conscousness way to deal with any injustic.

    If you agree please forward this to all Iranian BLOGS , Twitters, etc….

    Thank you…Elham

  5. Exvisu — Newspapers and democracy and Iran Says:

    […] For an interesting graphical analysis of the Iranian election debate I highly recommend reading the Internet and Democracy blog at Harvard: mapping Iran’s election […]

  6. New Media and the Iranian Elections | The Morningside Post Says:

    […] Internet and Democracy Project announced their updated research on the Persian blogosphere, which examines the Iranian blog landscape on the eve of the 2009 election: Based on our monitoring of the Iranian […]