On Monday, September 16 Iranians rejoiced via Twitter and Facebook for the first time in years. In 2009, Iranian authorities blocked social media sites including Twitter and Facebook after concern that its citizens were using such sites to vocalize complaints and organize protests. Many people turned to VPN’s, virtual private networks, to access social media illegally.
Numerous people celebrated on their Facebook pages saying, “God has freed Facebook.” After years of censorship this was a day long sought after. Confirming this story Thomas Erdbrink, the New York Times correspondent based in Tehran, tweeted “Hello World, we are tweeting without restrictions from Tehran.”
As of now it is unclear what has caused Iran to lift the social media ban. In the past the ban has been lifted temporarily due to service maintenance however the other theory is that the lift is due to President Hassan Rouhani’s administration. Many believe this time social media has been unblocked for good. Reasons for this involve that fact that members of Hassan Rouhani’s administration have been using social media and their accounts have been verified as real. Another reason includes Hassan Rouhani publicly voicing support for freedom of the Internet in the past. Uncertain is a timeframe for how long Iranian citizens can enjoy social media, however response from users is clear and its understandable they’re making up for lost time on Twitter and Facebook.