hoder rebuked by Iranian government September 23, 2004 1:28 PM   Subscribe

Despite all the political squabbles and armchair revolutionaries around here, it's not that often that one of us actually personally pisses off a dictator. So let's all give a hearty congratulations to Hossein Derakhshan, our very own hoder, who recently earned himself an official rebuke by the Iranian theocracy for his tireless efforts in keeping pro-democracy Iranian blogs alive following the mullahs' crackdown on them. Tabrik!
(And cute pic, by the way.)
posted by Asparagirl to MetaFilter-Related at 1:28 PM (47 comments total)

I heard about this on NPR yesterday, but I never thought he'd be a member of the site too. Congrats for what you're doing, one of the seemingly less and less non-trite uses for the internet. Keep it up.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:40 PM on September 23, 2004


Right on.

It's surprising to me that oppressive governments have been so much less successful at controlling wired technologies, which actually require physical, uh, wiring, and so much more successful controlling unwired stuff like radio and TV.
posted by scarabic at 1:44 PM on September 23, 2004


Bravo. I salute you.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:45 PM on September 23, 2004


Take that, negativist Metafilter!

But seriously, good work.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:53 PM on September 23, 2004


scarabic- that may change soon. They banned BlogSpot months ago (and many other "subversive" domains) by distrubting a country-wide blacklist to the various ISP's. But thanks to protests like the one hoder organized, information is still leaking back into the country. So it looks like they're going to try to build an official Iranian ISP and force all Net traffic to go through there.
posted by Asparagirl at 1:57 PM on September 23, 2004


So it looks like they're going to try to build an official Iranian ISP and force all Net traffic to go through there.

I was only a matter of time.
posted by Witty at 1:59 PM on September 23, 2004


Yay for you!
posted by adampsyche at 2:10 PM on September 23, 2004


Good work hoder.
It's worth pointing out that hoder is one of the few political posters here who's posts are consistently interesting and really are the best of the web.
I don't comment in his posts often enough (just saying "this is good" gets repetetive after a while and I know too little about Iran to contribute any more) but I do follow the links in every one.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 2:14 PM on September 23, 2004


That's awesome, hoder. Er, not the mullahs being pissed at you, but what you did to get them pissed off. You know what I mean.
posted by livii at 2:14 PM on September 23, 2004


One senior British official dryly told Newsweek before the invasion, “Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran.” And then, presumably, to Damascus, Beirut, Khartoum, Sanaa, Pyongyang. Richard Perle, one of the most influential advisers to the Pentagon, told an audience not long ago that, with a successful invasion of Iraq, “we could deliver a short message, a two-word message: ‘You’re next.’”
posted by matteo at 2:44 PM on September 23, 2004


Well done, hoder!
posted by homunculus at 2:55 PM on September 23, 2004


sweet, dude!
posted by jpoulos at 2:59 PM on September 23, 2004


Richard Perle, one of the most influential advisers to the Pentagon, told an audience not long ago that, with a successful invasion of Iraq, “we could deliver a short message, a two-word message: ‘You’re next.’”

And anyone that disagrees will find their words parsed awkwardly and disingenuously by Bush and his assembled (kool) aides into a logical fallacy of unabashed vigor. For more, see section 3a, entitled "people who opposed the war = people who like saddam hussein, vis a vis John Kerry". Good times, that. Maybe if Kerry makes Bush out to be the opportunistic ideologue that he truly is, the media won't portray him as a "bully" this time. They probably will, but you never know.

As for hoder, I'm in awe and now hold him with great reverance. He's done a remarkable job and my many thanks to Asparagirl for directing us towards this news.
posted by The God Complex at 3:06 PM on September 23, 2004


I PAID FOR THIS MICROPHONE
posted by crunchburger at 3:14 PM on September 23, 2004


Thank you, Asparagirl. Thank you and well done, hoder! I always find hoder's posts interesting and often wish there were more.
posted by lobakgo at 3:26 PM on September 23, 2004


is he safe tho? i don't want to see hoder "disappeared" or anything.
posted by amberglow at 3:28 PM on September 23, 2004


Good on ya, mate.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:37 PM on September 23, 2004


is he safe tho?

He lives in Canada, so other than frostbite, crazy hockey fans, and boredom, I think he'll be fine. :-)

Hey, I wonder if MeFi was included in the Iranian news/weblog ban? If not, then hoder's posts here (and others' posts about Iran) could be accessed by pro-democracy activists over there.
posted by Asparagirl at 4:45 PM on September 23, 2004


Excellent work, hoder

Yet, when he posted about this story, all he got was a shouting at for self linking...
posted by ZippityBuddha at 5:09 PM on September 23, 2004


Congrats Hoder, we hear a lot of goofy news stories about how blogs tangentally affected news items, but if blogs could force a democratic Iran, that would truly be an amazing story worth seeing.

Keep up the good work, and if you're ever threatened by the gov't seriously, I'm sure you could find plenty of safe houses in the states down south.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:11 PM on September 23, 2004


Is someone going to alert him to this callout so he knows we all hate his posting style? I'm sorry, am I in the right place?
posted by yerfatma at 5:18 PM on September 23, 2004


Well done hoder and thanks to Asparagirl for pointing this out.
posted by Tarrama at 5:32 PM on September 23, 2004


Matt, was one of the people who inspired hoder to re-start his photoblog.
posted by Tarrama at 6:03 PM on September 23, 2004


[applauds]
posted by pmurray63 at 6:25 PM on September 23, 2004


Thanks everyone. People like me can not change anything without your support.

However, as I wrote once to Matt, it's a tough position to be involved in something that you also have to report about, just because there is no one else. So all I do could be seen as self-linking or at least self-promotion. But what would you do if you were in my position? It's a very complicated situation.

Anyway, I really appreciate your help and attention. I wish others were open to this sort of thing as you guys at MeFi are. Especially the Slashdot people who have always rejected my stories on censorhip.

By the way, can I ask why you haven't posted this on MeFi's main section, of course without the thank-you pasrt of it, so more people can know about this protest and censorship in Iran?
posted by hoder at 6:49 PM on September 23, 2004


...if you're ever threatened by the gov't seriously, I'm sure you could find plenty of safe houses in the states down south.

Sorry, what? hoder could escape the theocratic excesses of the Canadian government by fleeing to America?

(I guess I'll just assume that was jocularity.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:07 PM on September 23, 2004


Salman Rushdie made great hay of this sort of thing...but seriously, keep up the good work.
posted by rushmc at 9:23 PM on September 23, 2004


can I ask why you haven't posted this on MeFi's main section...so more people can know about this protest and censorship in Iran?

Er...because you already have several times? :-)

I'll tell you what--the next time there's a bunch of sites banned or a blogger (or a blogger's father! glad he got released) arrested by the Iranian gov't, I'll put up a nice big FPP up about it. At this rate, it'll happen by the end of next week...
posted by Asparagirl at 11:00 PM on September 23, 2004


Sorry, what? hoder could escape the theocratic excesses of the Canadian government by fleeing to America?

the state I live in is almost not America. and it's a really big, fairly empty state , given the clearing out it received recently.

::shakes head::

There are lots of places a person could hide, given the incentive and hope.

Excellent work hoder, please do, keep it going.

Excellent post Asparagirl.
posted by kamylyon at 11:46 PM on September 23, 2004


Sorry, what?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:06 AM on September 24, 2004


if blogs could force a democratic Iran, that would truly be an amazing story worth seeing.

!

I have to say, this probably falls somewhere between "deeply unlikely" and "utterly impossible" on the going-to-happen-o-meter.
posted by reklaw at 2:25 AM on September 24, 2004


I have to say, this probably falls somewhere between "deeply unlikely" and "utterly impossible" on the going-to-happen-o-meter.

You're probably right, but despite my general cynicism towards "weblogs will change the world" claims, I do feel that they are are surprisingly important in Iran. They're the safest way for citizens to say what they feel in a country run like that, and Iran has the advantage of being reasonably technologically switched on.

My view on Iran is that the status quo really doesn't have long. Iran doesn't need a US invasion - the younger generation are just waiting for the older one to die off so they can run things their way (as an Iranian friend of mine tells me). Grass roots communication like this can help facilitate that.
posted by Jimbob at 5:30 AM on September 24, 2004


Hoder, you're an inspiration to people like me who see all that's wrong in the world and feel helpless. There are many things that can be done, or at least started, by one person.

And stav, that safe house in the States comment struck me as bizarre too, though I can't be as witty as you were in pointing that out.
posted by orange swan at 6:07 AM on September 24, 2004


I've often heard and said that Pinochet's fall would have been much faster if we'd had the Internet back in those days. Our version of political blogs were photocopied news-sheets passed along by hand.
Good on you, hoder. Keep up the good fight.
posted by signal at 6:30 AM on September 24, 2004


Indeed, Bronson Pinochet's reign on Perfect Strangers would have only lasted a season at most.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:34 AM on September 24, 2004


I think maybe you're off your game a little, Stan.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:37 AM on September 24, 2004


*gives standing ovation*

*stands, ovates*

*applauds*
posted by widdershins at 8:49 AM on September 24, 2004


It's odd that the BBC refers to UofT as "Toronto university in Canada". Is this an accepted but minority usage? Or is the BBC a bit clueless about one of the two best universities in Canada?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:57 AM on September 24, 2004


Add my voice to the chorus of praise. Hoder, you make me feel by turns deeply proud and personally inadequate.

[EB, out of curiosity, which is the other "best Canadian University?" Remember, when you answer, that people from McGill, Queen's, Waterloo and others are reading this. :)
(Me, I went to Ryerson. I have no illusions.)]

posted by chicobangs at 9:14 AM on September 24, 2004


Oh, you know, the other one.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:38 AM on September 24, 2004


I think this might be worth adding to the front page sideblog, where it would remain for a long time. It's not every day that a MeFite gets denounced by a government, after all. Whaddya think, Matt?
posted by pmurray63 at 10:21 AM on September 24, 2004


Unless getting audited counts.
posted by chicobangs at 10:35 AM on September 24, 2004


Canada has universities? ;)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:37 AM on September 24, 2004


pmurray63, I added it earlier today.

And on the "safe house" comment, I meant that if Hoder can't be physically captured because he's not in Iran, there's a possibility that someone would come after him in Canada. The US is fairly strongly anti-Iran and heck, even the Bush admin would probably want Hoder doing his thing via a website instead of an actual invasion (which would cost much more).

I suspect the US govt would welcome him with open arms for his efforts.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:18 PM on September 24, 2004


You know, I checked the front page before I posted that suggestion, and I didn't see it. Maybe I was seeing a cached page or something. Sigh...
posted by pmurray63 at 2:07 PM on September 24, 2004


Fortunately, after the Mikonus crisis, Iranian regime has practically abandoned the strategy of murdering opponents outside Iran. Also, I'm defenitely not that important or influential (at least yet!) that they want to get rid of me.

But I'm sure if things go the way the are going now, with Revolutionary Guards controlling every aspect of political arena, and interfering with private lives of people, they may again start thinking about silencing foreign-based opponents. After all they've just shown some signs of unconventional political pressure again by arresting the father of a friend of mine, Sina, who was hilmself in detention for three weeks last year and later fled to Hollands and bravely started to write about his horrifying experiences. Let's all hope they don't get to this point.

But seriously, Internet will play a big role in the future of Iran -- if we don't let them disconnect it from the world by their new idea of a country-wide intranet, which is called Shaare 2 and is supposed to connect all local ISPs together and bring back all Iranian domains to be hosted inside Iran and in this large intranet. As a matter of fact, we are constantly watching new developments on Net censorship in Iran on stop.censoring.us.

Now that a bit of self-promotion seems OK here, I'd like to share with you some of my future projects. All using Internet, few of them could produce serious political consequences as well as big effects on many Iranian internet users.
posted by hoder at 4:08 PM on September 24, 2004


Well-done hoder - and our thoughts are with you and your friends for the future.

Very cagey, EB. I think the name thing is just BBC not really knowing a lot about Canada - they rarely report on things there, and I've seen them get little things like that wrong before. The University of Toronto is never called "Toronto University" - though it is sometimes just "Toronto", or by the name of a campus (St George, Mississauga, or Scarborough). Of course, most commonly it is just "Youvtee".

Besides, everyone knows that York U (older than the UK's U of York) is the best. Crappy library, but best History faculty, which is all that really matters.

posted by jb at 12:15 AM on September 26, 2004


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