To the surprise of absolutely no one, the government of Iran is not giving any likes on Facebook – or at least it is not a Fan of Facebook or its CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
In keeping with this abhorrence of anything involving free speech or liberty, an Iranian court located in southern Iran has summoned Mark Zuckerberg – he the heralded founder of Facebook – to answer to the court regarding complaints alledgedly made by individuals in his juristiction regarding photo sharing site Instagram and WhatsApp, the communicthation app popular with those in third world countries (such as Iran) that do not have access to reliable telecommunications infrastructure. Both of those entities are owned by Facebook. The nature of the complaints? Privacy violations, at least according to Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA.
In addition to requesting Mark Zuckerberg appear in his court, the judge also ordered both services blocked throughout the country (or at least in his jurisdiction). Of course, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a whole slew of social networking sites are already banned in Iran with limited success. Indeed, in typical Iranian fashion, senior government officials have free access to these networks, while the rest of the country manages to find their way onto such sites using proxies and other means.
There is no chance that Zuckerberg will appear in Iran (gee, there is no extradition treaty with Iran and the United States) and the judge’s demands will likely have no affect on much of anything. But Iran’s government likes to make these types of proclamations from time to time just to remind its own people and the rest of the world, that it has a strong bias against anything that stems from western culture (except, possibly, nuclear weapons). Ironically, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is known to be an active Twitter user. Where did he get twitter followers in the first place?