Monday, October 20, 2014


Persian Letters

Another Iranian Official Comes Out In Favor Of Facebook

Many Iranians have long demanded an easing of online filtering by the state and better and faster access to the Internet. (file photo)
Many Iranians have long demanded an easing of online filtering by the state and better and faster access to the Internet. (file photo)
The debate in Iran regarding the censorship of Facebook – the most popular social-networking site among Iranians – continues.

Not that long ago, Iranian authorities were describing Facebook as a "Zionist" tool used by foreign intelligence services for spying purposes.

But under the government of new President Hassan Rohani, Facebook has undergone something of a redemption.

Rohani campaigned on a platform of moderation and spoke out against censorship, promising more openness if he was elected.

Now several of his cabinet members, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have joined Facebook, and other officials have spoken out in favor of it.

On September 19, Iran's chief of police, Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam, said there is nothing wrong with what he called the "targeted" and "service-oriented" use of Facebook.

He said there are still many risks and potential dangers involved in using the social-networking site, but a public ban is unnecessary.

A few days earlier, he said the government had not changed its mind about unblocking Facebook, but added that the issue might come up at an upcoming meeting of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, which Rohani plans to attend.

The increasing use of Facebook by government officials has intensified calls for the site to be unblocked.

Many Iranians have long demanded an easing of online filtering by the state and better and faster access to the Internet.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmud Vaezi said this week that he didn't see a problem with people joining social-media sites that are "healthy."

He said he did not have a Facebook page but confirmed that some of his colleagues do.

"They express their views on their [Facebook] pages, and they also like to hear the views of others about them," Vaezi said in a September 20 interview with the semi-official ISNA news agency.  

On September 16, Facebook and Twitter were briefly unblocked in Iran, which prompted joyous reactions from users and increased speculation that Iran's tough censorship policy is changing.

But both websites were quickly reblocked and some semi-official news agencies reported that a glitch was behind the sudden access.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Greg from: Minnesota
September 22, 2013 13:21
Maybe really they've figured out -- it is potentially as great a tool in totalitarian hands as in capitalist hands *LOL*
In Response

by: NSA from: Virginia
September 22, 2013 19:37
The irony is that the NSA most likely does spy on facebook users.

by: FKP from: USA
September 22, 2013 22:17
Iranian girls are the hottest girls I've ever seen good God.
In Response

by: Nathan from: Oregon
September 23, 2013 17:38
Yes.

by: Lynn Smith from: Titusville, FL
September 23, 2013 00:14
It's nice to see progression taking place in Iran. There's no threat to Iran by limiting internet access.to Iranians. It's good to see that Iran is ready to relax their policy. I can't even post things to one of my teammates in Iran who plays an internet game with me. I have teammates in Egypt, Indonesia,Turkey and all over the world. I'm glad to see change on the way for Iranians.

by: PAPA FRANK from: BOSTON
September 23, 2013 09:35
ALL OF US NEED TO LIVE TOGETHER IN HARMONY WITH EACH OTHER. WE NEED TO HAVE COMPLETE FREEDOM OF THE INDIVIDUAL. EVERY INDIVIDUAL ON THIS PLANET NEEDS TO START LEARNING HOW TO LIVE IN HARMONY WITH EACH OTHER. NO KILLING OF ANY HUMAN-BEING. ALL HUMANS NEED TO HAVE COMPLETE FREEDOM OF, BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE OF OUR WORLD. NO INDIVIDUAL SHOULD OPPRESS ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL. WE NEED TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE POOR AND HUNGRY OF OUR WORLD. WE NEED TO HELP THE HOMELESS AND SICK OF OUR WORLD. WE NEED A CHANGE BY ALL OF US. YESTERDAY IS GONE FOREVER. WHAT WE DO TODAY WILL HELP US TOMORROW. WE NEED TO PRAY TO OUR GOD'S FOR MORE KINDNESS AND GOODNESS IN OUR WORLD. PRAY TODAY, HOPE FOR TOMORROW AND DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE FUTURE.
PAPA FRANK

by: A Kuz from: PA
September 25, 2013 02:33
Apparently, Facebook isn't the only thing they're interested in: http://www.newslo.com/iran-lifts-social-media-ban-so-leaders-can-check-facebook-browse-youporn/

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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Seen anything in the Iranian blogosphere that you think Persian Letters should cover? If so, contact Golnaz Esfandiari at esfandiarig@rferl.org

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