Iran restricts WhatsApp, Instagram as Mahsa Amini protests grow | Social media news

NetBlocks said the outage was ‘the most severe’ since the internet was blocked during fuel protests in 2019.

Iran has restricted access to social networks Instagram and WhatsApp amid protests over the death of a woman in police custody, according to residents and internet watchdog NetBlocks.

Severe network outages were also reported across the country, with one of the largest mobile phone operators disrupted, bringing millions of Iranians offline.

Last week’s death of Mahsa Amini 22 years oldwho was arrested by the ethics police in Tehran for “inappropriate attire”, has sparked a wave of anger over issues including freedom in the Islamic Republic and an economy reeling from sanctions.

According to Iranian media and officials, at least six protesters were killed, as well as a police officer and a member of the pro-government militia. However, activist groups say the death toll is even higher.

NetBlocks also reported a “national outage” for Iran’s main mobile phone provider and another company’s network.

WhatsApp’s servers were down on multiple internet providers, hours after Instagram’s services were blocked, London-based NetBlocks said.

The group’s data showed an almost complete disruption to internet service in parts of the Kurdistan province in western Iran as of Monday, while the capital Tehran and other parts of the country also suffered. has faced disruption since Friday, when the protests first broke out.

Two residents in Tehran and southern Iran who said they can only send texts but not pictures on WhatsApp and Instagram appear to have been completely blocked.

Both platforms are owned by Meta, the parent company of Facebook, and are among the few social networks that are still active. NetBlocks says disruption is “most severe” since 2019 as government shut down internet for about a week to help curb fuel protests.

Without internet access, it’s harder for people to post videos on social media to support their cause or get reliable reports of what’s going on.

The unrest this month has been particularly intense in Amini’s home province of northwestern Kurdistan.

22-year-old Amini was living in Saqqez, Kurdistan, and in Tehran when she was detained for what Iran’s ‘ethical police’ deemed ‘indecent clothing’, a violation of the mandatory dress code. of Iran, which was adopted immediately after the Islamic Revolution. in 1979.

Authorities said she suffered a stroke and heart attack while at the “instruction center” and was transported to a nearby hospital, where she died a few days later.

Amini’s family denied it statement of the police chief of Tehran that she had some pre-existing conditions such as epilepsy and diabetes.

Social media sites like TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook are regularly blocked in parts of the Islamic Republic, which has some of the strictest internet controls in the world. But tech-savvy residents often use virtual private networks (VPNs) to get around curbs.

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