The head of Telegram, the most popular social media network in Iran, has again categorically denied making any concessions to Tehran regarding censorship.
On January 13, 2016, the Iranian media widely reported a statement by Iran’s Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi that the instant messaging service Telegram “has agreed to block any channel reported by Iran’s Communications Ministry.”
Pavel Durov, however, who is CEO of the widely used messaging service, said only “porn/ISIS” related content would be subject to censorship in Iran, as it is in other countries, but not any other content disapproved of by the Iranian government.
Vaezi claimed that Telegram, which has as many as 20 million users in Iran, had already blocked several pages “reported by our Ministry whose content was in violation of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s laws.”
Not so, according to Telegram CEO Pavel Durov.
“So if the claim was that we block any content on demand, that is of course not true,” Durov tweeted in response to queries.