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Iran: Ahmadinejad's supporters launch online grassroots campaign

logo_rightIran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has registered as a candidate for the June presidential election. Like his rivals, he now awaits official approval to run in the election from the Council of Guardians. Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad's supporters have launched a multi-media campaign called Dar Emtedad Mehr (meaning, “Following Kindness”) covering social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and other online media.

There is no “About” page on the site, so the true identity of the creator(s) is unknown, but the titles of 80 blogs that support Ahmadinejad are listed prominently. The website is very interactive and provides different opportunities for Ahmadinejad's supporters to be involved in the campaign and receive information.

The site offers news updates of Ahmadinejad's speeches and visits to different cities on YouTube via Twitter, Facebook, or SMS messages. So far less than 15 people have “followed” the Dar Emtedad Mehr campaign on Twitter.

Some of the videos on the site are very emotional with music, like one where Ahmadinejad visits a poor family in Ardebil. We learn that the father of the family is still suffering from injuries from the Iran-Iraq war.

Ahmadinejad supporters are invited to get involved with the campaign by sending SMS messages, making phone calls and attending physical campaign events.

Volunteers who wish to participate in grassroots activity can fill in a form choosing between 3 places where they plan to promote Ahmadinejad's candidacy: 1-schools, 2-mosques, 3-public places.

Bloggers are also invited to place Ahmadinejad's election logo in their blogs.

While Ahmadinejad's supporters have become active on different virtual fronts, the Iranian president has not updated his own blog for about a year.

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