Instagram has 13M active users only on android devices in Iran and 500M all around the world. But there has been some rumors and news that it might get censored in the country.
Iranians love social media and it’s not only the young generation, even the older generations are using it now in the country. The youth are spending most of their times on their smartphones and social media platforms, so the parents are forced to use these platforms to be able to communicate and keep up with their children. 53% of Iranians are a member of at least one social media platform. “The average daily presence of Iranians on the internet is between 5 to 9 hours, while the global monthly average is 16 hours,” said Iran’s Secretary of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace. Instagram is one of those lucky social media platforms in Iran that hasn’t been filtered completely yet.
With Rouhani’s government in place, there has been so much effort to look at the social media platforms in a different way. How different? Technology has always been bringing new opportunities and damages at the same time but it’s the users and the way of using these technologies that determine if these technologies are going to help the people or not. This is what Rouhani’s government believes and they are trying to correct some of these misusages by working on the culture and bringing enough suitable and quality content on the table to change the users’ point of view about these social media platform. And this is a smart move by the government to show the youth the other ways that they can use social media. In order to support this movement, Iran even has plans to invest in domestic social media platform.
On parallel to these efforts by the government, they have been trying to develop and implement smart censorship methods to only censor the unsuitable contents. In this way, the government wouldn’t censor the whole platform and it would just censor some specific content that is not suitable, for example, unsuitable content for children. The smart censorship has been developing in the past years in a few stages. Right now, the smart censorship on Instagram doesn’t allow the unsuitable pictures to be shown inside the country.
From what it seems we are going to have Instagram as one of the most popular social media platforms in Iran. But the story doesn’t end well for other social media platforms as for Twitter, according to the officials, it’s not going to be removed from the Iran’s blacklist.