This is a big paradox: the Iranian government recommends the ministers to be on Facebook, while the site remains blocked for the rest of the Iranian people.
The initiative comes from the new president Hassan Rouhani who has decided to enable and even encourage his ministers to create their own Facebook page through the Facebook Friends operation. It is mostly due to a wish to get some distance from the previous government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and show that ministers are more open about the Internet.
This sounds like a joke but it is not, due to Iran is a country that blocks access to many websites including Facebook … The members of the government will therefore find themselves isolated on the social network that has been blocked in the country since 2009, when the opponents of Ahmadinejad regime had used Facebook to be heard internationally. Facebook is not the only major global site to be censored by the government: Google, YouTube and major international news media are also blocked. Iran is also considered by Reporters Without Borders among the countries being the strongest Internet enemies.
On Facebook, it seems that it is the Iranian ministers themselves who will manage their pages. The social networks shall be indeed a key point in Rouhani’s policy.
Unfortunately, it is not because some ministers are having fun surfing on Facebook to expect an opening of the government on the issue of Internet. Iran just wants to give a slightly more modern image by sending members of the government on the social network. “This is not the time to remove filters [on various blocked sites] ,” said Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehei , the director of the supervisory board Iranian Internet .
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