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  • Amid a push by Tehran on online platforms,Iran bans social media.
  • Iran’s ministry of education on Sunday banned
    the use of foreign social media networks in
    schools, the ILNA news agency reported, amid
    a push by Tehran to limit the influence of
    outside online platforms.
    social media
    Schools must “only use domestic social
    networks” for their communication, the ministry
    said in a statement, according to the reformist-
    linked news agency.
    Telegram is the most popular social network in
    Iran. In 2017, the app claimed it had 40-million
    monthly users in the Islamic Republic.
    Instagram is also very popular, and companies
    in Iran — like elsewhere — often use both
    platforms to communicate directly with
    customers.
    Less used, Facebook and Twitter are blocked in
    Iran, but easily accessible using a virtual
    private network (VPN).
    During a wave of protests that hit dozens of
    Iranian cities over at the start of the year,
    Iranian authorities temporarily banned
    Telegram, accusing the app of allowing foreign-
    based “counter-revolutionary” groups to fuel
    unrest.
    Since then, authorities have sought to develop
    Iranian social media networks and limit the
    reliance on foreign-based platforms, which
    Tehran accuses of hosting sites deemed hostile
    to the Islamic Republic.
    Several Iranian platforms offering services
    similar to Telegram have emerged in recent
    months, like the Soroush network, which
    already claims to have five million subscribers.
    According to the official IRNA news agency,
    Telecommunication Minister Mohammad-Javad
    Azari Jahromi recently pledged Iranian
    networks would offer the same guarantees of
    confidentiality as foreign platforms.
    “No message is read, and no (personal)
    information is communicated to anyone,” he
    told parliament.
    In a statement recently posted to his website,
    Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
    said the government should guarantee the
    “security and privacy” of people on the internet.
    Khamenei called intrusions into online privacy
    “haram”, or prohibited from a religious
    standpoint.
    Iranian media has appeared to encourage
    people to join the new networks by assuring
    viewers they will continue to operate even if
    Telegram is again banned.

    AFP

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