Mashable: Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei joined Instagram last week and so far has posted four photos. Iran’s supreme leader since 1989 chose to share shots that likely show scenes of Ramadan.
It comes as a surprise to some that a person who has been slow to get onboard with social media trends — not to mention Iran’s stance toward its citizens’ use of the social media — has joined Instagram. His Twitter account has 4,337 followers so far, and links to his Instagram account. Also posted on his Twitter account are links to YouTube videos and stories about his visits with other world and religious leaders.
It’s no surprise that his Twitter account has received some flack from those who say it’s hypocritical for a public figure in a country that has imposed strict Internet control over its citizens to be involved in social networking. This is the same regime that continues to block social networking sites and restrict Internet access for its citizens. Three years ago, before a mass protest, the Internet was down due to government actions.
It was reported in April that Iran had plans to shut down the Internet country-wide in August in favor of a “clean Internet,” that will filter news and information to its citizens. Agence France Presse reported shortly after that initial story ran that Iranian government officials said the clean Internet reports were “baseless.”