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Iran censors 'offensive' Instagram pictures: media

TEHRAN: Iran has started censoring images posted on photo sharing app Instagram, removing content deemed “offensive” as part of a government project to screen social networking accounts, local media reported Thursday.

“The filtering of pages with immoral content began yesterday (Wednesday) evening on Instagram,” the government daily Iran said.

The Shargh newspaper, citing the official Fars news agency, said that access to other posts was still possible.

“With the successful filtering of offensive content on social networks, it is no long necessary to completely block them and users can access the site properly,” it added.

According to Fars, telecommunications minister Mahmoud Vaezi said the first phase of a government plan to filter content had been “successful on the network which was under the most pressure”, referring to Instagram.

He added that between five and 10 percent of content would be affected by the measures.

In October, an Instagram account called Rich Kids of Tehran was temporarily blocked after several pictures showed drink-fuelled parties and girls in Western dress, despite the ban on alcohol in Iran, where women are obliged to wear headscarves.

Authorities frequently block access to social media, including Twitter and Facebook, which are often used by government critics and opposition groups. -AFP

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