Telegram Messaging Service Interrupted in Iran after Authorities Condemned its “Immoral” Stickers
The Telegram messenger service confirmed on June 29 that problems which have emerged in its service in Iran were due to domestic technical issues inside the country. In a message on its Twitter account, Telegram said it was investigating the problems.
Local network providers are limiting Telegram traffic in Iran. We are trying to find out the reasons.
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) June 29, 2015
In recent months there have been calls by some Iranian officials and state media outlets to shut down the messaging app because of its “immoral” stickers, which are small drawn images that can be inserted into messages to indicate an emotion, similar to emoticons.
“We’re unable to send messages [on Telegram]. In recent days we cannot log into it without a filter breaker during most hours. I think we have to gradually move to another service,” a user told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
A growing number of Iranians have been using Telegram as a more secure alternative to popular messaging services such as Viber and WeChat.
Communications and Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi said on June 14 that the government had “complete surveillance over social media” and those who post “immoral” content would be dealt with.
“According to the law we will place limits on networks that use stickers or content that allow insults against government officials or promote immoral issues,” Vaezi added.