Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance: "4 million Iranians are facebook members"
Source: Shargh daily, Tehran
Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mahmoud Vaezi, said again this week that he is a proud Facebook user. “I have been a member and I’m pretty involved [with Facebook]. I keep posting things and I always use the comments I receive,” he told the reporters. Vaezi told the reporters that, overall, he evaluates membership in the social network to be a positive thing, adding, “Incidentally, the President told me, ‘if you think it’s a useful thing, I will also join it in future, God willing.”
About the types of comments left on Facebook, Vaezi said, “Of course the views [expressed through comments] are very diverse. They write about whatever they feel like it! I mean, it doesn’t have any framework or accounting. It all depends on how the guy leaving the comment feels at that time! But overall, it’s a good thing.”
Also this week, Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance said again that “membership in Facebook is not a crime.”
“Membership in Facebook is not a crime. There is a problem because Facebook is blocked and breaking the block to access it is a crime. Otherwise, being on Facebook itself is not a crime,” Ali Jannati told reporters today following a cabinet meeting.
Although the Iranian government’s efforts to block Facebook and Twitter for Iranian users continue, and many conservative clerics and officials have repeatedly spoken against the “immoral” features of the popular social networks, it appears the Rouhani cabinet is forging ahead with its support for use of social media, and is willing to use any chance to show this support and to state that the reason the blocking is in progress is not the Rouhani government, but organizations outside the control of the Executive Branch.
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