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Five Top Tweets: Iranians Ridicule Censorship on the ‘Filternet’

Iran's Minister of ICT, Mahmoud Vaezi on the right at the WSIS 2015 forum in Geneva, Switzerland. Image from remixed by Mahsa Alimardani.

Iran's Minister of ICT, Mahmoud Vaezi on the right at the WSIS 2015 forum in Geneva, Switzerland. Image remixed by Mahsa Alimardani.

This post was written by Small Media researcher Kyle Bowen, and first appeared on Medium.

Recent disruptions to the messaging app Telegram have caused a stir on social media. The country’s Twitter users took this as opportunity to voice more general complaints about Iran’s slow, expensive, and heavily filtered Internet, known among some Iranians as the ‘filternet’. Here are five of the best reactions from the past month:

Sarcastic Thanks

We thank those running the country for providing these hellish internet speeds and filtering stuff. Carry on, you’re doing great work!


Regime supporters who’ve bypassed the filtering system to get onto Twitter are shit-eating hypocrites.

Iranian conservatives have always bent the rules to get onto ‘forbidden’ social networks. See our report ‘Unmasking the Arzeshi’ for more info.

403: Genitals Forbidden

We’ve reached the point where I’m surprised I don’t see the filtering page when I look in my underwear.


Why they do this? They cut the internet completely and say that anyone using the internet is a criminal—end of discussion! #telegramfiltering.

Over the last couple of months, Iranian authorities have been criticising Telegram loudly. Since late October, it’s been intermittently unavailable in Iran.

These Guys Suck at Censorship

With a single Instagram update, the whole smart filtering system will be destroyed.

Iran’s “Intelligent Filtering” project is aimed at censoring ‘immoral’ content on platforms like Instagram. But as this user points out, technical changes on Instagram’s side could render Iran’s intelligent filtering efforts outdated and ineffective. Oops. That’s $66 million down the drain!

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