Small Media Foundation Small media news feed #IranVotes 2017 // Election Day Welcome back to #IranVotes!So far in this series we’ve followed the state of the Iranian election campaign on Twitter, and have seen how many familiar voices from election cycles past are still dominant. Rouhani surrogates continue churning out pro-Rouhani content, a smaller cadre of conservative attempts to do the same for Raeisi, and the Mujahedin-e Khalq’s tedious online bot army continues to chant their hollow praise of MEK leader Maryam Rajavi into the void.So although we maintain that it’s important to keep an eye on what’s happening on Twitter, we’d concede that it ... May 19, 2017, 5:49 p.m. #Iran Votes 2017 // The Debate of Debates Welcome back to #IranVotes! This week's blog post covers 6 April – 9 May. By covering this period, we're able to see how support for the candidates developed, from the moments before they registered their candidacy through to the middle of their campaigns. So... What are people talking about? Although the discussion trends themselves remain similar to our previous report, engagement levels changed. While the first debate on 28 April saw a drop in broader activity, but an unsurprising spike in the hashtag #debate, the more fiery second debate on 5 May resulted in a jump across the spectrum ... May 19, 2017, 5:14 p.m. #IranVotes 2017 // Mapping Out Twitter Welcome back to #IranVotes! In this week’s blog, we tease apart some of the communities that have formed on Twitter over the early phases of the campaign, in an attempt to understand how political factions are beginning to organise themselves and communicate their core political messages to the public.By mapping out all the occasions where users retweeted each other’s election-focused posts, we’ve been able to sort them into several ‘clusters’ of users with similar opinions about the election campaign. Here’s an overview of the core clusters we identified between 26 - 27 April.As we can ... May 12, 2017, 6:33 p.m. #IranVotes 2017 // The Ahmadinejad Effect Welcome back to #IranVotes! In this week’s blog post we jump back a few weeks to look at the early phase of the campaign between 6 – 19 April, which spanned the candidate registration period. The campaign was as fiery and unpredictable as ever. Acting against a public warning issued by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iran’s ex-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad registered as a prospective candidate. Although Ahmadinejad’s short-lived appearance caused a frenzy online, it inadvertently cast a shadow over Hamid Baghaei, the political ally he was supposedly entering the race to support.By 15 April 1,636 candidates had ... May 5, 2017, 3:22 p.m. Season 2 - Episode 3: Role of social media and the internet on Iran’s upcoming elections May 2, 2017, 5:30 p.m. #Iran Votes 2017 // Twitter Analysis Introduction As Iranian netizens place their cat memes to one side and get knee-deep in politics ahead of the elections, we’re setting out to track the dramatic twists and turns as it pans out on social media. We defined two periods of 7 days for this baseline report.There were more tweets on the 'peak day' during our second period, but less tweets overall. We looked into the data behind the peak on April 4 and found the hashtag #رئیسی_بیا ("C'mon Raisi") followed the trend of our graph. It appeared in our top hashtags for the first time on ... April 21, 2017, 6:15 p.m. IIIP // March 2017 Executive SummaryThe last decade has seen increasing speculation about the growing role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the imposition of information controls on Iranian citizens. This month’s feature provides an overview of the various ways in which the IRGC has been able to regulate and otherwise affect the flow of information in online spaces, and shares a number of case studies documented by Justice for Iran demonstrating IRGC-directed information controls in action.Also this month, we continue to review the major developments in internet policy from March 2017. Iran’s National Information Network (SHOMA) saw further ... April 18, 2017, 4:25 p.m. #IranVotes 2017 // Social Media & Iran’s Presidential Elections Last year, as Iranians went to the polls to elect the country’s tenth parliament, we did our best to capture the twists and turns of the campaign as it unfolded on Twitter. Our report #IranVotes: Political Discourse on Iranian Twitter During the 2016 Parliamentary Elections documented the communities that emerged on Twitter over the course of the campaign, and captured their perspectives on a whole range of issues ranging from freedom of expression, to the tech economy, to the fate of Iran's political prisoners.In May this year, Iran's presidential elections will offer voters an opportunity to ... April 13, 2017, 2:27 p.m. IIIP // 2016 in Review It has been a rollercoaster of a year in Iran's ICT sector. The first phase of the long-awaited National Information Network (SHOMA) was launched at the end of August, Telegram remains the focus of contentious debate among officials and governmental bodies, and the Iranian government continues to work to populate online space with more 'Islamic content'.In an effort to encapsulate the key internet policy developments of 2016, Small Media presents this comprehensive annual report, which contains a number of in-depth features from our 2016 Iranian Internet Policy and Infrastructure (IIIP) reports and three new pieces tracking developments in ... March 29, 2017, 10:20 a.m. IIIP // February 2017 Executive SummaryHassan Rouhani’s presidency has weathered four years of internal conflict over Iran’s approach to regulating online activities. This month’s feature takes a look at how approaches to online censorship have evolved over the period of Rouhani’s first term in office, from his initial campaign rhetoric that spoke out against it, through to the failures of ‘Intelligent Filtering’, up to the latest shift towards ‘crowdsourced’ censorship.In this month’s report we continue to review the major developments in internet policy for February 2017. The second phase of Iran’s National Information Network (SHOMA) was launched ... March 23, 2017, 5:19 p.m. Paradise Lost? Developing Solutions to Iran's Environmental Crisis Today, on World Water Day, Small media publishes Paradise Lost? Iran’s Environmental Crisis. The Iranian Plateau faces an unprecedented environmental crisis that threatens to reshape the economic, social and political landscape of Iran. Our new report, developed in collaboration with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, investigates Iran’s ongoing water crisis and the challenges facing civil society groups, journalists and the government as they work to pull Iran back from the brink of environmental catastrophe.The report is based upon comprehensive research, public surveys, and interviews with a variety of different figures working in the environmental sector, including policymakers, activists ... March 22, 2017, 5:51 p.m. Paradise Lost? // Iran's Dying Lakes The most visible symbols of Iran’s water crisis are its lakes and rivers, which appear to be on a trajectory of near-terminal decline. We will offer an overview of the situation facing two of them: Lake Urumieh and Lake Hamoun. These are only some of the most famous examples, but many other bodies of water are at similar risk of vanishing completely, including Lake Bakhtegan, the Gavkhouni Wetlands, and the Anzali Lagoon. Recently, environmental campaigners have elevated some of these bodies into matters of national importance, and the government appears to be taking the threat of their destruction seriously ... March 22, 2017, 11:22 a.m. Safeguarding Civil Society // East Africa In this report, we set out to assess internet freedom and establish the digital resilience of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the region of East Africa, specifically Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. In partnership with the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Defend Defenders, and Strathmore University’s Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law, we carried out a policy analysis of current freedom of expression and internet-related legislation, 39 CSO interviews and a series of network measurements. Check out our full report on the link below to explore our full findings ... March 16, 2017, 5:03 p.m. Filterwatch 2 - Episode 2: Launching Phase II of Iran's National Internet March 2, 2017, 5:28 p.m. IIIP // January 2017 Executive SummaryIn December 2016, Rouhani unveiled his long-awaited Charter of Citizens’ Rights, which contained a number of promises to protect human rights and freedom of expression in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Our feature this month assesses the Charter’s implications for internet freedom in the country, and questions the value of the document in the light of the limited implementation mechanisms that exist given the strength of the judiciary and Iran’s Supreme Leader. Also this month, we review the major developments in internet policy during January 2017. A month before the launch of the second phase of Iran ... Feb. 21, 2017, 3:18 p.m.