Resisting new technology is ‘outdated’ says Iran’s Rouhani
Tehran, Jan. 21 (PTI/AFP): Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday said resistance against new technologies is “outdated” as he once again criticised the judiciary’s blocking of social media.
“Resisting new technologies and modern developments is an outdated approach,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast by state television.
“We can see that some still oppose new phenomena especially those related to communication and information,” he added.
Iran in recent years has blocked access to many social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and in May the judiciary blocked the Telegram messaging app.
In May Rouhani said the government does not approve of the judiciary’s blockage of Telegram – the country’s most popular social network with some 40 million users or around half the population.
In his speech Monday he said preventing Iranians from accessing social would amount to creating a forbidden fruit which they would crave more and more.
“Filtering is not the solution. We must raise the society’s digital literacy so that they can use it (social media) without being harmed by it,” Rouhani said.
“We don’t have free media in Iran and only have state television and radio,” he said.
“Everything is congested in the cyberspace … everyone wants to say everything in this space since they don’t have any other media,” he added.
In January, Iranian media said the judiciary was mulling banning Instagram, the last major platform still freely available in the country.
Despite social media restrictions, Iranians including top officials such as Rouhani himself and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif continue to use services such as Twitter, which are widely accessible via proxy servers.