Social networks within filtered ICT networks: A case study of the growth of internet usage within Iran
This chapter investigates the growth of the Internet in Iran, the effect of Internet filtering, and the impact on marginalized groups including NGOs, female activists, religious minorities, the younger generation and the increase of the digital divide. Using secondary data from multiple sources, the chapter presents the current use of the Internet in Iran and makes comparisons with other countries in the Persian Gulf region. The chapter argues that Internet filtering and severe restrictions on SMS messaging negatively affect not only ICT expansion, but also civil liberties— thus increasing the digital divide regionally, as well as on a global scale.
Keywords: ICT, digital divide, filtering, weblogging, gender digital divide, NGO, civil liberties, democracy