Iran Cracks Down on Instagram Celebrities
Instagram influencers in Iran are being forced to censor their posts and give their account passwords to intelligence agents amid a renewed crackdown on freedom of expression and speech. Investigations by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) indicate that dozens of Iranians with large followings on Instagram—including athletes, fashion models and actors—were summoned by security officials in 2019 and in some cases charged with crimes for the content of their posts.
Although most were ultimately released on bail, many were forced to hand over control of their Instagram accounts by revealing their passwords. Some of the targeted individuals, fearing jail time, ultimately suspended or severely limited their online posts as well as removed old posts that could be interpreted as “immoral” according to state dictates. Read our full investigation here.