TEHRAN—Authoritarian rulers have clamped down on dissidents making an attempt to arrange on-line lately, with some trying to emulate the firewall that insulates China’s homegrown web from the world exterior.
Iran has taken a unique method. Knowing its filters aren’t sufficient to hold Iranians off world social-media platforms, it floods them with propaganda, aiming to flip them to its benefit.
The newest is Clubhouse. Activists complain that Iranian authorities are co-opting the app to create a facade of democracy forward of presidential elections in June to increase voter turnout, which the state has typically used as a badge of legitimacy.
In current weeks, Iranians have gravitated to Clubhouse to talk about every part from human-rights abuses within the Islamic Republic to cultural points and boycotting the elections. Launched final 12 months, the audio-based app offers users a way to gather in virtual “rooms” the place anybody can be a part of townhall-style debates.
It would appear to be the form of platform that may unsettle many authoritarian leaders. But whereas different Middle Eastern governments moved to block it, Iran leaned in.
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