Iran Supreme Council of Cyberspace is ruling out new regulations for foreign messaging apps and social media platforms. Soon these companies must move their servers inside the country and have a legal representative in Iran.
Social media platforms all over the world are playing a major role in social, political and even financial movements. We are even seeing some data manipulations such as manipulating the search engine results in the recent elections in America.
Iran is playing an important role in the world’s economy and politics so it’s obvious that the government doesn’t allow the foreign countries to control and manipulate the social media platforms and messaging apps. And why messaging apps? Simply because in Iran people use messaging apps such as Telegram (which is dominant), as a social media. Having control over these platforms or manipulating the trending content can have a great outcome in the society. That’s why Iran is trying to regulate the activities of these platforms inside the country. According to Seyed AbulHassan Firouzabadi, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace, if the details of the reorganization plan for foreign messaging apps and social media platforms get approved, these platforms must move their servers inside Iran for Iranian users, register their company and have a legal representative in Iran. Suggested overviews of the plan by The National Center for Cyberspace got approved by the Supreme Council of Cyberspace and soon the detailed plan will get approved to enforce the plan in full scale. But this is not the end. According to Seyed AbulHassan Firouzabadi, there are incentive policies for the domestically owned and controlled social media or messaging apps which have developed their own platform as well.
Incentive policies for the domestic social media and messaging apps:
- If an app has up to 1 million users, the government would let them do advertisement on their platform.
- If an app has 1 million up to 3 million users, the government organizations must support the app by advertising on their platform.
- If an app has 3 million up to 5 million users, the government would grant them a license to have banking and eGovernment services.
- If an app has over 5 million users, the government would connect them to the telecommunications network and treat them as an operator. The telecommunications operator license costs around 300 million euros in Iran which would be a good incentive for these kinds of apps.
With these new regulations soon enforced by the government, for domestic social media and messaging apps, we hope to see more of them entering the market of the 40M smartphones in the country.