Officials in Iran have announced their intention to block access to Instagram, the last major social media site that is freely available in the country.
The photo-sharing app is being prohibited by legislators as a matter of ‘national security’, likely amid concerns that anti-government messages are being spread on the platform.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Telegram have already been banned in Iran for some time – Twitter was first made unavailable back in 2009.
Reports from local media have revealed the National Cyberspace Council has approved final plans which would blacklist Instagram.
They had attempted to limit access to the platform a year ago via content censorship, but concluded the filters had not had the impact they were hoping for.
Residents will still be able to access the app by using virtual private networks (VPNs) and routing their traffic using an overseas internet address.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei currently has an official Instagram account with 2.2 million followers.
However, it is unlikely the ban will stop him from posting pictures as he still regularly updates his two Twitter accounts, which have a combined total of 1.5 million followers.
In March 2018, Apple completely blocked Iranian traffic from the App Store.
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