Thursday, 18 June 2009

Wheels Within Wheels

Part of this week's rich debate around Twitter and social media has been about who you can trust online.

That's an interesting debate when you take the 'turn your Twitter avatar green' service that a number of Twittering types have started to use. The idea's nice and simple - a one-click process via the helpiranelection website will turn your avatar green so that you can demonstrate your support for Mousavi's backers in their call for a recount.

The chap behind helpiranelection is Arik Fraimovich. When he's not helping people to show solidarity with Iranian political movements, he's a software developer. I have to note that, while he is not now, he has previously worked for the Israeli Ministry of Defence. That doesn't mean to say he is aligned to the MoD or is in any way carrying out its will. But the fact that an Israeli with government links is behind a 'back Mousavi' Internet scheme will sit uncomfortably with many in the Arab World, let alone in Iran itself.

I am quite, quite sure that Arik's idea was well intentioned. But 'going green' is, I think, an Iranian choice to make.

Thanks to 'Party Boy'... :)

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Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

Wow "red neck rebs" around the place!

Did you post based on the rumoured intervention with twitter delayed maintenance? Purportedly White House. I think not!

I actually wrote an email to Arik, copy below, which did warn of such a reaction?

"Hi Arik,

Excellent idea, congratulations.

May I just make a couple of points?

Email link on your blog is not hyperlinked!
Bearing in mind your location, Israel, may I suggest you place a different location on your twitter profile? That will ensure wider use of your overlay and if anybody wants to dig down, as I did, then hopefully those diggers will not be so narrow minded as those who may react negatively to “Israel”. What do you think?

Written and sent from United Arab Emirates!"

who is said...

Oh boy. Tinfoil hats come the Zionist Conspiracy hordes any minute now LoL

Arik Fraimovich said...

I'm Arik, the creator of

I want to clarify something: I didn't do that to support Mousavi. I don't believe he is far better than Ahmadinejad, but I do think that the people's movement that started there because of the elections is the important thing. It really gives hope for a dialogue.

And I don't see the going green with your avatar as support for Mousavi, but as support for the brave people in Iran.

Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

@ Arik 18 June 2009 22:36

Hi Arik,
I continue to support the "greening" in support of the Iranian grass roots, not the ruling theocracy.

However,I sense you have answered like a politician, responding to part of this blogs viewpoint, not the core subject matter!

Possibly your role with Israel's MOD is at a non-militaristic level, and would anybody be so foolish to disclose, as you have, but possibly this is a double bluff?!

Please do respond to all points posed by blog, not selectively. This would aid our common cause, not hinder it.

who is said...

Good response by Erik, and well spotted, Rupert.

I just reckon that the same rednecks out there who'd jump on the Israeli connection in the first place aren't really the kind of people who are into hearing rational explanations.

Now...back to twitter...

Mohamed Elzubeir said...

Back when I was involved with, I have been involved in a lot of collaborations with Israeli developers.

In fact, the FriBidi (, which started by an Israeli developer, peacefully continued by Iranian developers..

Personally, I couldn't give a rat's ass where someone is from, as long as I find what they produce useful. Though I have no horse in this race, the concept seems quite useful.

I think, as far as I can tell, geeks have figured out how to work with one another long before politicians (and even grassroots movements) ever will be able to.

who is said...


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