WTF: State Department sends Twitter rep to Iraq to help the locals

Duncan Riley

Your taxpayer dollars at work: the US State Department has sent representatives of YouTube, WordPress, Twitter and other tech companies to Iraq to "explore new opportunities to support Iraqi government and non-government stakeholders in Iraq’s emerging new media industry."

The State Department claims that "during their visit to Iraq, they will provide conceptual input as well as ideas on how new technologies can be used to build local capacity, foster greater transparency and accountability, build upon anti-corruption efforts, promote critical thinking in the classroom, scale-up civil society, and further empower local entities and individuals by providing the tools for network building."

Twitter..... Iraq....

Raanan Bar-Cohen, VP Media Services at writes that the group has discovered that among other things, only 5% of Iraqi's have internet access, but mobile coverage is nearly universal.

And Twitter and WordPress is going to help how exactly?

If Oprah wasn't enough, I think we might be seeing the top of the Twitter bubble now, because this is insane. You can follow the trip on Twitter via the hashtag #Iraqtech.