Iran strammer grebet om sociale medier


Screenshot fra Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)’s dokumentar, hvor ”Instagram-berømthederne” bliver tvunget til at tilstå. Blandt dem er 18-årige Maedeh Hojabri.

Forfatter billede

When the high-profile Iranian Instagram users Maedeh Hojabri, Elnar Ghasemi, Shadab Shakib and Kami Yousefi were arrested in May 2018, it signaled a new phase in state efforts to control expression on Instagram.

The arrests of these high profile Instagram users sparked a worldwide outcry after the government forced the 18-year-old Hojabri to confess to the “crime” of posting videos of herself dancing.

Tension around Instagram has been mounting since the start of 2018, when protests spread across the country and Iranian authorities temporarily blocked online platforms Instagram along with Telegram. Both sites are extremely popular in Iran.

By the end of April, Telegram was fully blocked — but Instagram remained open. Instead of blocking the platform, it appears that authorities are instead using it to track the activities of Iranians, and control Instagram content by arresting those who are not following the laws of the land.

The judiciary began threatening to filter Instagram at the beginning of July 2018, arguing that it has enabled the “illicit activities” of so-called Instagram celebrities.

What happened to Maedeh Hojabri

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