There was a demonstration against Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) in Iran on Sunday, where several people staged a campaign asking the social networking site to allow Iran-based users full account verification services. A few days ago, the Twitter CEO asked the Islamic Republic to lift the ban in the country on the use of the micro-blogging site.
Demand follows Costolos’ remark
The protest campaign is live on Twitter with the handle #AddIranToTwitter, and follows Costolo’s tweet to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, where he wittily asked the president to lift the ban over Twitter.
“Mr. President, enjoying your Tweets from the UN. We would love the Iranian people to enjoy them as well. When will that be?” Costolo tweeted. Previously, Rouhani tweeted about his UN visit in New York. Costolo, also, tweeted that he held discussion with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif, and asked for an open access to Twitter in Iran. There were no other details provided by the CEO.
There are few Iranians who access Twitter through a virtual private network (VPN) that allows users to connect to the banned websites through servers outside the borders of the country.
Many of the biggest names in the social networking space such as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter are banned in Iran. Twitter was ousted from Iran in 2009 with allegations that anti-government demonstrators are using the platform to trigger mass protests. Even though Twitter is banned in the country, top Iranian government officials like President Hassan Roughani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are active on Twitter (and Facebook).
Iranian asking Twitter for two-factor authentication
Twitter users in Iran backed Costolo’s request and used #AddIranToTwitter hashtag to convey that the company has not added a two-factor authentication service for Iranian users. According to users, in Iran the two-step authentication process will safeguard accounts from being hacked. For the authentication, users need to add their cellphone number to their account to receive a message alert in case of a password theft attempt.
One of the Iranians tweeted to Costolo on English, “Censorship is one side, and sanction from @twitter is on other side.” Another Iranian commented that they are humans like rest of the world.