Back in September my colleague and Persian Letters blogger Golnaz Esfandiari blogged about a segment on Iranian state TV accusing Facebook and Twitter of "being Iran’s 'hidden enemies' and tools used by Western intelligence agencies in order to recruit new members and gather data on individuals."
Now the original Iranian TV report is available with English subtitles for non-Persian speakers. (Hat Tip: Tom Gross)
According to the report, the site's aim is to locate people to engage in special operations for Western intelligence agencies.
As Esfandiari wrote in September:
The report is a sign of Iran’s growing concern over the popularity of social-networking websites among young Iranians, many of whom have used Facebook to share news, images, and videos of protests and information about the plight of political prisoners.
While the impact of social-networking sites in helping to organize postelection protests in Iran last year has been questioned
, it's clear that the government is concerned about their potential to destabilize the regime and isn't taking any chances.
The Iranian regime isn't the only one worried about the pernicious affect of Facebook. According to this BBC report, the U.S. Air Force has warned its service personnel not to use the site
as it could reveal their location to the enemy.
And a pastor in New Jersey told church officials this week that members of his church shouldn't use the popular social-networking site. According to "The Guardian":
The Rev Cedric Miller said 20 couples among the 1,100 members of his Living Word Christian Fellowship Church had run into marital trouble over the last six months after a spouse connected with an ex-flame via Facebook.
He is ordering about 50 married church officials to delete their accounts with the social-networking site or resign from their leadership positions. He had previously asked married congregants to share their logins with their spouses, and now plans to suggest they give up Facebook altogether.
Miller, a married father of six, has a Facebook account, but said he will heed his own advice and cancel his account this weekend.
The Iran report is worth watching, if only for its overwrought style, which includes a graphic that melds the Twitter logo and a bomb fuse.