Ever since the uprising reformed in December 2017, Iran internet users have had to twist and turn with different software to get past the government filtering on social media, especially Telegram.

Both a humiliation and disgrace for the government, Iran tries to encourage people to switch to Soroush. This is a home-made alternative application to Telegram. The state-backed minds that programmed the messaging option did their best to associate Soroush’s features with those of Telegram. Yet the most controversial part to it are the emojis. They reflect the chador that is worn by traditional women.

In the hand of this character is a picture of Khamenei. Others hold up writing showing “Death to America”.

The judiciary of Iran has declared that citizens must stop using Telegram. While the popular app is banned, the court has given an order to internet providers inside the country to block access to Telegram by April 30. This is a matter being overseen by the regime's Supreme Leader - Ali Khamenei himself.

Social media restrictions

Social media plays a crucial role for young Iranian protesters. They are organizing their events through wires and using platforms such as Instagram and Telegram to give out information to all the others. Protests took a rather economic appearance to begin with, blasting out at the government corruption.

However, they soon turned into massive strikes against the actual government. The only way out that the regime could find was to ban Telegram. Iran's Internet Censorship Committee has been responsible for closing down 14,000 websites and various social networking accounts.

Pavel Durov vows to not compromise

It’s been a tackle for Telegram CEO Pavel Durov too.

In one of his posts, he wrote that it is much better to be blocked by authorities than to back-down on freedom of expression and speech that are our undeniable human rights.

Durov’s decision will have a huge impact on Iran. The population uses the app for everyday life. Some users have been successful getting past filters through VPNs but many others don’t.

One way or the other, this regime wants full control over users’ internet activities especially when it comes to social networks. They will restrict and arrest internet users to help save themselves a little bit longer.

I write this with the depth of understanding that the regime change in Iran is not just a dream, but a desire which sent waves of anticipation and hope and will overcome any filtering and censorship