WhatsApp vows to keep users connected amid Iranian protests

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Meta Platforms Inc’s META.O WhatsApp said on Thursday that it was working to keep users in Iran connected after the country restricted access to the app and social media platform Instagram.

WhatsApp “will do anything” within its technical capacity to keep the service accessible and that it was not blocking Iranian phone numbers, the messaging service said in a tweet.

Iran on Wednesday restricted access to Instagram and WhatsApp, two of the last remaining social networks in the country, amid protests over the death of a woman in police custody, according to residents and internet watchdog NetBlocks.

Last week’s death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by morality police in Tehran for “unsuitable attire,” has unleashed anger over issues including freedom in the Islamic Republic and an economy reeling from sanctions.

Women hold out their sliced hair during a protest outside Iran’s House of Representatives in Tehran, Iran on September 23, 2022.
Women hold out their sliced hair during a protest outside Iran’s House of Representatives in Tehran, Iran on September 23, 2022.
LEX VAN LIESHOUT/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Protesters in Tehran and other Iranian cities torched police stations and vehicles earlier on Thursday as public outrage over the death showed no signs of abating, with reports of security forces coming under attack.

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