[note to ppl in the non-English world, I am using 'Alice in Wonderland' references to tie things together]
"Is that a rabbit in a waistcoat with a pocketwatch?"
At the cursory level, there was an election in Iran. It was pretty obvious to most people around the world massive election-rigging went on. The losing party demonstrated and the government fought back.
"Why is it running towards that tree?"
The protest quickly became not about the election, but about fundamental rights. That could be easily seen from both what the protesters were doing and how the world was interested in it.
"It looks like there is a funny hole in it the rabbit went into."
A cause people quickly pointed to was the prevalence of the internet. This is an easy one to do as it is nice, neat, and explainable. In one sense it is true: how can you not feel am emotional tug when you read what may be the last thing another human being typed?
"The inside of this tree looks funny ..."
I think the world is shifting to a new way of looking at things. It the past individual countries were stand-alone entities. A web with others of treaties and animosities, sure, but completely separate when you came right down to it. Now though people are starting to see themselves as world citizens first. Hurt any part of that collective and the whole world feels the impact and stands beside the affected part of it.
Recent events show it more and more, but it seems to be on the increase. Look at the reaction to the 9/11 attacks in 2001. That was forgotten quickly though. Now 8 years later look how linked people are to the events in Iran even after the news has stopped covering it.
True, there are cultural and legal differences depending on what country you are in but you have that if you compare, oh, Boston with a small town in Alabama.
So we have gone from what looks like a localised political squabble to a worldwide movement. How far down the rabbit hole will this path take us?