View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Publishers
  2. Digital Journalism
January 5, 2018updated 08 Jan 2018 10:55am

Iranian state news agency uses Twitter to identify pro-democracy protesters putting them at risk of ‘torture or worse’

By Thomas Kavanagh

An Iranian state news agency, Tasnim, has used its verified Twitter account to identify protesters from the recent unrest in the country.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the agency posted pictures from the marches and asked followers to contact them with information. They circled the faces of people to identify them.

The tweets roughly translate to “Recognise the images of protesters?” and go on to list the locations and times at which the pictures were taken.

Followers were quick to respond. One account said: “Know the people and publish them everywhere. Send us photos and criminals’ details,” followed by a link to another Twitter handle. Other accounts labelled the people featured as “traitors” and “mercenaries”.

Protesters have responded in kind.

The account @rasuyab has posted several pictures of people they believe to be regime guards. Their pinned tweet says: “The purpose of this channel is the disclosure of mercenaries that have a direct role in suppressing the people and creating a climate of intimidation and oppression.”

Content from our partners
<a></a>Key ways to futureproof your media career as journalism job cuts bite deep
Slow online ads cost UK publishers £50m a year: Here's how to fix them
Mather Economics and InsurAds combine to help publishers boost revenue

Former Wall Street Journal writer Sohrab Amari asked Twitter moderators to address the issue – warning that those identified on the platform would be likely to face “torture or worse”.

The platform has been barred in Iran following widespread unrest, but some users still have access and Iranian media is not subject to the ban on the general public.

At the time of publishing, Twitter has not removed the tweets of the Tasmin News Agency account.

Topics in this article : ,

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network