One Way to Quell Uprisings: Ban Facebook

-Ali Khamenei Image-According to The Media Line, Iran has decided to block a number of websites “perceived as immoral and anti-social”, with YouTube and Facebook being among the blocked sites. Facebook has been the source of uprisings including Colombia where they protested against the FARC as I wrote about earlier this week.

Apparently Iran is looking to protect themselves from internet uprisings and is acting fast to ban five million websites. This appears to only be a delay of the inevitable as “30 percent of the population have access to satellite TV”. As such citizens in the country still have access to unfiltered information but without Facebook and many of the social media sites, it will be a bit harder to spread ideas.

Iran has a history of shutting down sites, having already banned Flickr, hi5, Friendster, Skype, and others. Other countries like the UAE and China have also placed bans on many social media sites. Fortunately for those that still want access, some individuals have developed tools for accessing the sites by spoofing HTTP headers and other simple tricks.

Users also leverage traditional proxy sites. However citizens access social media, it has become challenging for the government to protect their users from accessing sites despite all their attempts. Social media is a catalyst for democracy and freedom and it’s only a matter of time before these ideals spread throughout the world via social sites.