As unrest grows, Iran restricts entry to Instagram, WhatsApp By Reuters

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© Reuters. An Iranian lady residing in Turkey factors at an outdated Iranian royal flag throughout a protest following the demise of Mahsa Amini, exterior the Iranian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey September 21, 2022. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

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(Reuters) -Iran curbed entry on Wednesday to Meta Platforms’ Instagram and WhatsApp, two of the final remaining social networks within the nation, amid protests over the demise of a lady in police custody, residents and web watchdog NetBlocks mentioned.     

Final week’s demise of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by morality police in Tehran for “unsuitable apparel”, has unleashed anger over points together with freedom within the Islamic Republic and an economic system reeling from sanctions.

NetBlocks additionally reported a “nation-scale lack of connectivity” on Iran’s mail cell phone supplier and one other firm’s community.

WhatsApp’s servers have been disrupted on a number of web suppliers, hours after Instagram’s providers had been blocked, London-based NetBlocks mentioned.

The group’s information exhibits a near-total disruption to web service in components of Kurdistan province in west Iran since Monday, whereas the capital metropolis of Tehran and different components of the nation have additionally confronted disruptions since Friday when protests first broke out. 

Two residents in Tehran and southern Iran mentioned they might solely ship textual content and never footage on WhatsApp and that Instagram seemed to be fully blocked.

Iran has usually curbed web entry to make it troublesome for protesters to submit movies on social media to generate help and in addition to acquire dependable studies on the extent of the unrest.

In 2019, the federal government shut down the web for a couple of week to assist stifle gasoline protests which turned political, sparking the bloodiest crackdown within the 40-year historical past of the Islamic Republic.

Protests have been significantly intense in Kurdistan the place Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has a historical past of suppressing unrest.    

Iran’s minister of communications mentioned earlier on Wednesday he had been misquoted after information retailers cited him as saying the authorities may disrupt web providers for safety causes.    

Social media web sites corresponding to TikTok, YouTube, Twitter (NYSE:) and Fb (NASDAQ:) are routinely blocked in components of the Islamic Republic, which has a number of the strictest web controls on this planet. However tech-savvy residents bypass curbs utilizing digital personal networks (VPNs).    

Meta and Iran’s Ministry of International Affairs didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

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