June 3, 2021
Raisi Does Not Have a Twitter Account
According to Ebrahim Raisi’s campaign headquarters, the Chief Justice does not have a Twitter page, and there is no direct relation between accounts that support Raisi and the candidate himself. The statement comes after an account believed to be the official Raisi page went live on Twitter, only to immediately be trolled by Abdol-Naser Hemmati.
May 24, 2021
Firouzabadi: I Don’t Believe in Internet Filtering
Candidate Abol-Hassan Firouzabadi, who is the head of the Supreme Cyberspace Council, told ISNA that he does not believe in internet filtering as a solution in Iran. Referring to filtering as a “political vulgarity”, Firouzabadi said he was not responsible for filtering since he did not have legal authority, and that he believed there were ways that Iran could make the best of social media without banning websites. Iran heavily filters the internet, banning many social media pages (like Twitter and Facebook), and Firouzabadi oversaw the banning of Pokémon Go in 2016 over security concerns.
May 9, 2021
Cyber Police Issue Warning About Election Fraud.
Ali-Mohammad Rajabi, the head of the Police’s Cyber Crime Detection and Prevention division, warned of a rise in cybercrime in the lead-up to the election, saying that various criminal groups are engaging in activities such as creating fake advertising agencies to take money from campaigns, as well as setting up fake campaign accounts on social media designed to steal donations and spread malware among followers. Rajabi added that to stay safe, ordinary citizens should only access news through official media, and candidates should only use social media platforms not blocked by internet censorship.
May 2, 2021
Saeed Mohammad Says Trolls Sabotaging his Social Media
Saeed Mohammad argued that systematic attempts to sabotage his campaign on social media were a regular occurrence, stating that in one 24 hour period, 350 social media pages supportive of his campaign were removed. Mohammad even said an individual in northern Iran pretended to be his campaign manager and had a number of supportive pages removed. Mohammad’s campaign have been complaining about his pages being removed from social media for more than a month, and previously blamed foreign actors such as American and Israeli troll armies. This is the first time he has directly blamed actors in Iran.
April 10, 2021
Hassan Khomeini: “Inclusive” Elections will Return Iran to the People
Hassan Khomeini yesterday stated that for Iran to truly return to the people, it would need an inclusive election in which everybody was represented. His comments clearly were directed at hardline elements in the Guardian Council which vets candidates. Khomeini also took aim at censorship of social media, stating that the government’s attempts to filter Telegram had failed, and it was ludicrous that they would consider the same for other social media apps.
April 9, 2021
Disruptions to Clubhouse were not because of Filtering
Disruptions overnight to the Clubhouse app were not the result of filtering. According to the Minister of Communications and avid Clubhouse user, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, the ministry had received information that Clubhouse had been disrupted on Iranian mobile phones, but added that this was not the result of filtering.
Read more on JahanNews
April 3, 2021
Speculation that Clubhouse will be the Social Media of the Elections
The recent use of Clubhouse by Mohammad-Javad Zarif, and the migration of important political figures and influencers from Twitter and Instagram to the new social media platform has led to speculation that Clubhouse will play a key role in elections. The platform is currently popular among elites in Iran, but its “Rooms” function has the potential to be used as a substitute for rallies in times of COVID restrictions. Some media are speculating that it will have the influence of Twitter in the 2009 election, and Telegram in the 2017 election.