The oldest social media network in Iran, Cloob website in shutting down after twelve years of its launch. Cloob Website was Iran’s alternative to Facebook and Google. The website had 2 million users in Iran but after struggling with censors for years, the website is finally closing.
The issue was to keep a control on the storm of photos of women, to ensure they don’t expose hair or the public not to share politically sensitive remarks on the site. The monitoring was so difficult that the site had recurrent clashes with the official authorities.
Mohammad Javad Shakouri the company director said, “Cloob.com was entirely blocked three times and the last time it took 28 days to unblock it. Like a farmer, a webmaster knows how hard it is to rejuvenate a land that has dried up for 28 days.” He further said that his workers have no “energy or enthusiasm” left to keep fighting.
Iran previously banned Facebook as women shared photos on it without headscarf which was illegal as per Iran’s Islamic laws. Other than this Instagram and Telegram is not blocked in the country, with the latter having 25 million users.
Shakouri said, “Cloob was one of the top three services in Iran but its flourishing tree has withered. These days, some have started to… sue the new wave of content creators such as Aparat and other services — a source of domestic content creation which would definitely be of benefit to our country and culture.”
In May, President Hassan Rouhani was re-elected as he promised to be lenient with social restrictions in Iran. 36 year old, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi was appointed by him to head the communications portfolio. Now Jahromi says that ban on Twitter will be lifted soon.