Telegram and the Facebook-owned social media platform Instagram temporarily blocked in Iran. According to the AP news agency, the country’s authorities took action to maintain peace.
In the Irib’s report, the Supreme National Security Council decided to temporarily limit access to the two chat apps due to unrest in the country.
Reasons For Telegram and Instagram Apps Limitations
Reports show that in the last few days, the country has experienced the rising cases of anti-government protests. And now, ministers are pointing an accusing finger at the two social media platforms.
On Saturday 30th, Iran’s ICT minister, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi directly tweeted Telegram’s founder Pavel Duro. He asked him to try and stop the hateful encouragements fueled via the social platform.
“A Telegram channel is encouraging hateful conducts, use of Molotov cocktails, social media unrest and an armed uprising. Time to stop such encouragements via Telegrams is NOW,” Azari told Durov.
Durov responded to Azari’s tweet noting that according to Telegram’s rules and regulations, calls for violence are highly prohibited. “If confirmed, we’ll have to block such a channel regardless of its size and political affiliation,” Duroz added.
Yesterday, Durov posted on his Telegram channel saying that the Iranian authorities had imposed a block on Telegram. He also added that it is not clear if this is a permanent or temporary action.
Durov also confirmed that Telegram’s administrators had suspended all the channels objected by Azari. He, (Durov) termed this as mad news. But he claimed that this resulted because the admins broke rules of service by calling subscribers to use Molotov cocktails and firearms against the police.
However, Instagram’s parent, Facebook did not immediately respond to the report.
In 2016, the Iranian government sparked privacy fears among foreign messaging platforms when it demanded control over them. This was after the government called for the companies to move their servers to the country.
Telegram is one of the largest media platforms in Iran. Last year, the company recorded over 40 million active users monthly, this is almost half of the country’s population, and over 25 million active users daily.