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Iran bans foreign social media networks in schools

TEHRAN, Iran — The Iranian ministry of education on Sunday bans the use of foreign social media networks in schools, the ILNA news agency reports, amid a push by Tehran to limit the influence of outside online platforms.

Schools must “only use domestic social networks” for their communications, the ministry says in a statement, according to the reformist-linked news agency.

Telegram is the most popular social network in Iran. In 2017, the app claimed it had 40-million monthly users in the Islamic Republic.

Instagram is also very popular, and companies in Iran — like elsewhere — often use both platforms to communicate directly with customers.

Less used, Facebook and Twitter are blocked in Iran, but easily accessible using a virtual private network (VPN).

During a wave of protests that hit dozens of Iranian cities at the start of the year, Iranian authorities temporarily banned Telegram, accusing the app of allowing foreign-based “counter-revolutionary” groups to fuel unrest.

Since then, authorities have sought to develop Iranian social media networks and limit the reliance on foreign-based platforms, which Tehran accuses of hosting sites deemed hostile to the Islamic Republic.

— AFP

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