Economy, Sci & Tech

Lifting of Ban on Social Media Sites Possible

Lifting of Ban on Social Media Sites PossibleLifting of Ban on Social Media Sites Possible

The pro-technology government of Hassan Rouhani seems to be pursuing the notion of lifting the filters from social media websites Facebook and Twitter more seriously.

According to Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi, the filters had been placed on these websites before the Rouhani administration took office.

Vaezi added that a member of the workgroup responsible for monitoring cybercrimes had suggested that if the ministry submits a formal letter asking for Facebook to be unfiltered, the request will be taken into consideration, ISNA reported.

Not to get the hopes of the public up too high, Vaezi clarified that this was only the opinion of one member and does not necessarily reflect the collective opinion of the workgroup.   

"Some officials have been discussing it, but there has not yet been any official correspondence regarding this matter," he said.

He added that the ministry will act only if there is at least a 50% chance that the move will yield desirable results.

"The ministry does not decide matters of this nature autonomously. Whether or not the filters will be lifted off the websites ultimately depends on the opinion of the workgroup," he said.

"Smart filtering"—the term used for selective filtering of inappropriate content rather than the filtering of a website or application altogether—is currently being used in Iran with certain applications and websites.

Relatively newer social media apps such as Telegram and Instagram, which became prominent during the term of the Rouhani administration, are used through a smart filter.