Friday, February 19, 2010

Goodreads and Iran

My sister Jessica blogs about how the book-social-networking site she works for -- Goodreads -- was apparently blocked by the Iranian government last week.
Last Friday, February 5, 2010, we were saddened to see Goodreads traffic in Iran plummet, which can only mean that Goodreads has joined the ranks of sites blocked by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime. One Iranian Goodreads member wrote to us and confirmed the news: "your site is recently been filtered by our horrible govrnmt. pls help us! spread it...books make no harm."
It is a sad reminder that living in a repressive society is, well, repressive and horrible - more so than many of us in the U.S. probably even realize. Until the cutoff, goodreads had attracted a sizable online community of Iranians - now hopefully they can find their way to proxy servers and back out onto the internet. And just maybe pressure from within and without will lead (peacefully) to a more representative government for the Iranian people.

Anyway, the story has been picked up by the Guardian, the New Yorker and a few other places so far.

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