LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Social media bans affect the economy

Iran is considering a permanent ban on Telegram. To make it effective, they will probably have to go after VPNs too.

Interestingly, a lot of the opposition seems to have an economic basis. Is this the basis of Gyanendra’s Law and its various exceptions?

For the many small-business owners who use Telegram to market their services and communicate with clients, the ban adds to their financial woes.

“The real losers are the many businesses linked with Telegram — it will worsen the existing unemployment problem,” said Reza Rahmani, a 30-year-old video game producer, said on Telegram.

Arash Mehrkesh, part of an eight-person company that produces educational apps, said on Telegram that the company had built a community of 250,000 users primarily through Telegram, where it offers after-sale services and answers questions.

“If Telegram is filtered, access to our clients will become difficult and time-consuming and we may lose many users of our applications,” Mehrkesh said. “Above all we will not be able to find new clients as easily as before.”

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