Iran’s Rouhani slams “outdated” social media jamming creating “forbidden fruit, which people crave more”

Iran’s Rouhani slams “outdated” social media jamming creating “forbidden fruit, which people crave more”
Stencilled graffiti on a wall in Yazd, central Iran.
By bne IntelliNews January 27, 2019

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has hit out at the blocking of social media apps by Iran’s judiciary, saying such resistance to new technologies is “outdated”, local media outlets have reported.

Rouhani reportedly suggested that the hardliner moves that block citizens’ enjoyment of social media and the internet were pointless as the approach turns applications “into the forbidden fruit, which people crave more”.

"Resisting new technologies and modern developments is an outdated approach," Rouhani stated on public broadcaster Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

Iran has blocked nearly all social media in the country, bar apps like Instagram which are now used for a myriad of uses including selling items online. Facebook, Telegram, Twitter and YouTube are just some of the popular foreign apps and websites placed behind the firewall. However, seemingly contrary to the law, top Iranian politicians maintain Twitter accounts. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, for instance, is usually quick to respond to any hostile tweets from the US with some return-fire on Twitter.

Rouhani went on to criticise the state of media in the country, saying “we don’t have free media in the country we only have state television and radio”.

"Everything is congested in cyberspace ... everyone wants to say everything in this space since they don't have any other media [they can turn to]," he added.

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