Iranian morality police cracking down on un-Islamic online activities

Cyber Police Chief Vahid Majid said that the crackdown would target those who stream 'obscene' or 'vulgar' content or engage in online modelling.

Iranian morality police cracking down on un-Islamic online activities
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Iran's head of cyber policing has introduced a new measure aims to crack down on activity that contradicts Islamic culture and norms.

The measure will make it so that the behaviour of Iranian people is monitored, in an attempt to weed out "moral and cultural offenses."

This action is widely perceived as part of the authorities' ongoing crackdown on women's hijabs, referred to as "Plan Noor." The morality police have also escalated their enforcement efforts on the streets since April 13, focusing on women who choose not to cover their heads with the oppressive garb.

Cyber Police Chief Vahid Majid said that the crackdown would target those who stream "obscene" or "vulgar" content or engage in online modelling, Iran International reports.

Majid said that an operation has already identified and taken legal action against several operators, managers, and members associated with 10 pages and websites.

Developed by the Islamic Republic, Iran boasts one of the most extensive Internet censorship infrastructures globally.

Although access to numerous popular websites and online platforms like YouTube and Facebook is restricted, Iranians frequently employ methods to bypass these limitations. The government regularly utilizes its digital infrastructure during national protests to implement Internet blackouts and has intensified various forms of censorship.

Majid asserted that 91% of what he defines as "morally offensive" content originates from Instagram. The platform, along with others such as Facebook, X, YouTube, Telegram, and WhatsApp, are officially blocked in Iran.

Despite the restrictions imposed by authorities, a survey conducted by the Iranian Students Polling Agency (ISPA) and published in February indicated that a large segment of the Iranian population continues accessing the platforms.

Approximately 46.5% of Iranians use Instagram, 35.3% use WhatsApp, and 34.6% use Telegram, the study found.

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  • By Raheel Raza

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