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Social Media Newsfeed: Watching YouTube Videos Offline | Iran Blocks Facebook, Twitter Again

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YouTube Apps to Allow ‘Short Period’ Video Downloads for Offline Viewing (The Guardian)
YouTube is preparing to introduce a new feature in its mobile apps that will enable videos to be downloaded onto devices for offline viewing. Due to launch in November, the feature was announced on the YouTube Creators blog for channel-owners, and pitched as a way for them to attract even more viewers.

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Social Media Newsfeed: News Orgs to Use Facebook Public Posts | Google+ Embedded Posts

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Facebook Releases Two APIs That Allow News Organizations to Tap into its Real-Time Public Posts (AllFacebook)
Twitter has company in the real-time news-related social media arena. Facebook Monday announced the rollout of two application-programming interfaces aimed at allowing news organizations to tap into its public posts in real-time: the public feed API, which displays a real-time feed of public posts for a specific word; and the keyword insights API, which tallies the total number of posts that mention a specific term during a specific time period, as well as enabling news organization to feature anonymous, aggregated results based on gender, age and location. The two new APIs are initially available only to a select group of media partners: BuzzFeed, CNN, NBC’s “Today,” British Sky Broadcasting, Slate and Mass Relevance.

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Iran Launches YouTube Clone, Sans Anti-Islamic Videos

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After years of the country blocking its population from sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, yesterday Iran launched its own video-sharing website as an alternative to YouTube. The site, called Mehr (the Farsi word for “affection”), seeks to do away with anti-Islamic and anti-government content found on YouTube and to promote Islamic and Iranian culture and values.

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Iran Plans Closed Intranet to Stifle Social Networking and Email

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Iran announced Thursday that they will be setting up a national Intranet and blocking sites like Google Plus, Yahoo, Google and Hotmail to establish a “clean internet”.  Whether the goal is cleanliness or suppression is debatable, but this does mean that many of these American services will be replaces with government services like Iran Mail and Iran Search Engine.

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Iranian Activist Posts Accusatory YouTube Video from Jail

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Recently, a jailed political activist based out of Iran recorded a 15 minute video and posted it on YouTube.  This is despite the government’s attempt to silence his efforts.  The man, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, is the head of the Democratic Front of Iran, and uses the video to criticize the Iranian government who are putting undue pressure on political activists in the country.

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Social Media Has Become Cuba's Worst Nightmare

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Social Media has become one of the worst nightmares for the Cuban regime, according to a new video making rounds across the internet. The 53 minute video is a presentation given by an Internet expert to Cuban Interior Ministry last June. From the video it is clear that Cuban authorities believe that United States is encouraging and organizing the voices of dissent through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

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Freed Hiker Sarah Shourd Pens Op-Ed for CNN.com on Iran-U.S. Relations

Sarah Shourd, one of three hikers who was arrested by Iranian border guards in July 2009 while hiking through northern Iraq and charged with spying, was finally freed in September after 410 days in solitary confinement, and she wrote her first op-ed piece about her ordeal for CNN.com. Highlights:

Since my release, many people have wondered why I have not been more condemning of the country that kept me in solitary confinement for 410 days. They have wanted to know why I speak with such conviction about the need for an improved Iranian-U.S. relationship and highlight my love for the Middle East and respect for Muslim culture.

At a very personal level, I never would have been kept in jail for 14 months if Iran and the United States had a better relationship. My fiancé, Shane Bauer, and our close friend, Josh Fattal, would not still be in prison in Iran today on the baseless charge of espionage.

But there is more to my conviction than the merely personal. I don’t believe that the animosity between Iran and the United States is an insuperable obstacle; it’s the responsibility of all governments to engage diplomatically, regardless of their differences, and when they can’t or don’t, it is their people who suffer the most.

‘For Neda’ Documentary Illustrates The Power Of Social Media In The Fight For Human Rights

Neda Agha Soltan

Neda Agha SoltanJust a little over a year after protests erupted in Tehran and across social media sites over the Iranian election of 2009, a documentary called ‘For Neda’ has been released that illustrates the incredible power of video and the social web as tools for human rights activism. The video uncovers the story of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young Iranian woman who became a symbol for the Iranian opposition when a video of her death spread on the web. Read more and watch the documentary after the jump.
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