Yesterday, Twitter announced it would be going offline for about an hour for scheduled maintenance. Users protested, noting the microblogging service's importance to Iranian activists, but Twitter said its hands were tied. It finally relented — under federal pressure.

The State Department directly intervened, it confirmed today, contacting Twitter over the planned outage:

"We highlighted to them that this was an important form of communication," said the official of the conversation the department had with Twitter at the time of the disputed Iranian election.

Finally, someone made Twitter stop breaking, showing how a bureaucrat can be more powerful than millions of people, at least until those people take to the streets. (Now's not the time to go getting any crazy ideas\, bitter Tweeters.)

(Image by Alex Carmichal)