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Chat is a Dirty Word in Iran? WeChat Blocked

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Iran, Citizen Media, Freedom of Speech, Technology


Internet service providers in the Islamic Republic have blocked access to WeChat [1] say reports [2] on several [3] news sites and blogs [fa]. WeChat is an application that enables smartphone users to connect to online social networks. While the Iranian president himself, and at least a couple of his ministers use different social media platforms themselves to communicate with followers, Iranian citizens are banned from access to sites like Facebook.

Iran Vatan Dust tweeted [4] [fa] about the news:

Next thing will be that they try to filter people's thoughts.

Faaar Ranak tweeted [7] [fa]:

It does not matter whether you use WeChat or not. The main problem is that they are filtering it.

Iranian blogger, Gilboygreen writes [10] [fa]:

Why did the Islamic Republic filtered WeChat? Because they are scared when people talk to each other. Today, possibly [an application] got filtered that symbolized dialogue. What is the reason that people are not allowed to talk to each other? The authorities should answer this question. When a channel to dialogue, to exchange ideas and to communication is blocked, how do you expect people to solve the problems in society via dialogue?… Do not fear the word “chat”. Chat is a simple, human act, accepted in different societies.

Another blogger, 1ironi writes [11] [fa]:

According to non-written law [tradition], whatever product, including food, that comes to Iran from abroad for the first time is banned… There are several examples of this kind of product becoming targets, such as eating tomatos, watching TV [they were all labeled Haram [12] sinful]. Several MPs increased pressure recently to ban WeChat, but we can still use it via psiphon [circumvention software].

Iran-man-massoud blogs [13] with irony pointing a finger to Iran's new president [fa]:

Thank you Rouhani.