For a brief moment on Monday evening, it looked as if Iran had liberalized its policy toward social media.
Those hopes were dashed several hours later when the country’s sudden access to Facebook and Twitter was revoked, after what Iranian communication officials described as a “technical glitch.”
The Iranian government has blocked Facebook and Twitter since 2009, believing that social media played a key role in the protests that followed the reelection of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—protests that were nicknamed the Twitter Revolution. Users have since had to leap a government firewall to access the sites.
Last night’s unexpected opening led many to proclaim that newly elected and more moderate President Hasan Rouhani had lifted the government’s ban. Some still wonder if the “glitch” was actually the result of infighting between government factions that do in fact want to regrant access to the sites, and more conservative elements who control Iran’s internet.
[Image via CS Monitor]
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