The government of Iran has banned access to Facebook in the run-up to the country’s June presidential polls! Guess what the reason behind this move could be… well, strangely enough, to stop supporters of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi from using the site for his campaign!
Mir Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister, is seen as one of the leading challengers to incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 12 June elections.
Mir Hossein Mousavi’s page on Facebook:
His page on Facebook has more than 5,000 supporters. It contains:
- A biographical information on the candidate
- A statement on his proposed policies
- Photographs both of him and of his fans
- Comments posted by fans, as well as one by the candidate himself
All those visiting the site receive a message in Farsi saying “Access to this site is not possible.”
Facebook, that has some 175 million users worldwide, has expressed its disappointment over the ban. Facebook seems to be now in the league of YouTube, MySpace and Flickr in terms of becoming a staple in the list of banned sites.
It’s not surprising that Iran banned the social networking site. Apart from popular social networks, there are some blogging platforms and other domains for personal expression that have too been restricted in Iran. Sad, but true!