Ali Alemi, a politically active 26-year-old student at Tehran's Azad University, told The Associated Press.
"I have used Telegram over the past week to attract voters." It's been particularly useful in helping voters keep track of the names of some 6,200 candidates running in the parliamentary elections.
Unlike in the fill-in-the-bubble ballots common in the U.
S., voters in Iran must write candidates' names on their ballots.
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But Durov, long a proponent of free speech, told last November that he believes "privacy is sacred." His past actions indicate it's unlikely he'd ever give in to government pressure.
For now, Iranian authorities seem to have set aside efforts to quash social media use and instead appear to be embracing it.
But people aren't just talking to one another; they are campaigning and sharing candidate lists — and most of them are doing it using the messaging app Telegram. Iranian voters will decide who is to represent them in two separate political institutions: the Majles, which is the country's 290-seat parliament, and the Assembly of Experts, the council of clerics responsible for supervising Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
An Iranian woman waits for a taxi in front of electoral posters of parliamentary election candidates in downtown Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Feb. Iran's parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections will take place on Feb. While Iran's traditional media like TV and newspapers, predominately used as mouthpieces for conservative hardliners, still dominate, experts say Telegram — as well as other social media — is transforming the way political campaigns are run while also helping reform-minded Iranians express their thoughts and encourage others like them to get out to vote.