Iran censor wants to ban WhatsApp — because Zuckerberg is Jewish

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According to the Israeli news service Haaretz, an Iranian censor has banned WhatsApp because the chat service is now owned by an “American Zionist.”

That would be Mark Zuckerberg, whose company Facebook acquired WhatsApp in February for $16 billion in stock and cash, or $19 billion including additional stock incentives. Zuckerberg is Jewish, and American, although his views on Zionism are unknown.

It appears that the censor’s ban doesn’t have the full weight of law in Iran — or at least its validity is in dispute — as Iranian communications minister Mahmoud Mehr responded, “The government is completely against the ban on WhatsApp,” according to Haaretz.

The communications minister even had this statement posted to Iran’s public-facing Twitter account: “Government of #Prudence & #Hope fully opposed to filtering of WhatsApp.”

That’s a pretty ironic statement to make on Twitter, given that Twitter — as well as Facebook and YouTube — has been banned in Iran since 2009.

In any case, even if WhatsApp won’t work in Iran, the messaging app should be just fine. It’s got 500 million active users, according to a company blog post from last month.

More about the companies and people from this article:

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w... read more »

Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Nokia and yes, those phones can all m... read more »

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