An associate professor in literature and women's studies, Mottahedeh explores the role of social media in the "Green Revolution" demonstrations that followed the fraud-ridden 2009 election in Iran. As the Green Revolution gained protestors in the Iranian streets, #iranelection became the first long-trending international hashtag. Texts, images, videos, audio recordings, and links connected protestors on the ground and netizens online, all simultaneously transmitting and living a shared international experience.
Mottahedeh follows the protest movement, on the ground and online, to investigate how emerging social media platforms developed international solidarity. The 2009 protests in Iran were the first to be catapulted onto the global stage by social media and as the world turned to social media platforms to understand the events on the ground, social media platforms also adapted and developed to accommodate this global activism. His book reveals the new online ecology of social protest and offers a prehistory, of sorts, of the uses of hashtags and trending topics, selfies and avatar activism, and citizen journalism and YouTube mashups.