Small Media Foundation Small media news feed Filterwatch // July 2017 Executive SummaryIn this month’s edition of Filterwatch, we explore the push for transparency taking place within Iran, and how the internet and online tools have supported these efforts. We will highlight effective tools and initiatives being developed by online activists and investigate how the establishment is reacting to calls for greater transparency.Also this month, we document the latest developments in Iranian ICT policy and infrastructure development. This month sees increased criticism over the progress of the National Information Network – also known as SHOMA – from the Supreme Leader himself.And even though election season is over, conservatives from the ... Aug. 17, 2017, 12:23 p.m. Filterwatch // June 2017 Executive SummaryIn this month’s edition of Filterwatch, we investigate the Rouhani government’s efforts to establish new eGovernment platforms and modernise a plethora of Iranian government services. As conservative and hardline politicians loudly accuse the government of dragging its heels on the development of anti-corruption and digital security infrastructure, how has eGovernment become such a politicised issue in recent months? Also this month, we document the latest developments in Iranian ICT policy and infrastructure development in the wake of Rouhani’s crushing electoral victory in June. This month sees a wave of new services being rolled out alongside government ... July 26, 2017, 12:45 p.m. Filterwatch // May 2017 Executive SummaryEver since the intensification of information controls in Iran after the tumultuous 2009 elections, the greatest perceptions of threat have generally been rooted in fears of the filtering of online content, and of the throttling of internet speeds as key moments of national importance (such as elections). Looking at the recent experience of the 2017 presidential elections, one might be forgiven for feeling a sense of relief at the apparent evaporation of authoritarian instincts in Iranian internet policy implementation – excluding the arrest of 12 reformist Telegram channel administrators in March 2017, the election went off without any mass detentions ... June 23, 2017, 11:54 a.m. Filterwatch // April 2017 Executive SummaryThe May 2017 presidential elections saw President Hassan Rouhani comfortably gliding into his second term in office, having crushed conservative rival Ebrahim Raeisi by 57.1% to 38.3%. Following this victory, we take a moment to review the role of ICT policy in the election campaigns of the leading candidates, Raeisi and Rouhani. On the one hand, Rouhani presented a generally progressive vision of internet policy, highlighting his record of opposing censorship in the past four years, expanding access, and lowering costs. At the same time, Raeisi presented a tougher line on information controls, sidelined the internet’s ... June 9, 2017, 11:41 a.m. Filterwatch 2.4 // Social Media in Iran's Elections May 31, 2017, 12:03 p.m. Data Journalism Workshop // Washington, DC Following our successful March 2017 data journalism workshop in London, this June Iran Open Data is hosting a free two-day data journalism workshop in Washington, DC. The workshop will be led by freelance journalist and data researcher George Arnett (formerly of The Guardian).Is this workshop for me?You’re knowledgeable about Iran and you’re either an experienced journalist or researcher who has published articles as a freelancer, staff reporter, or academic, or you’re a data analyst who loves finding narratives in numbers. If you satisfy both criteria, even better!What you’ll learnDuring this interactive workshop we ... May 25, 2017, 3:09 p.m. #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. Filterwatch 2.3 // Regulating Social Media in Iran’s 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.