Iran blocks 'Clash of Clans' mobile game over voice chats amid continuing protests
Iranian authorities have blocked the popular "Clash of Clans" mobile game in order to prevent users from talking to each other and coordinating protests which have rocked the country for weeks.
This is not the first time the game has been blocked in Iran. Gamers were previously banned from playing it in 2016 as it "promoted violence and tribal conflict".
The game has a new feature which allows players to use voice chat and talk to one another, like with video games. Tehran fears that younger people could use this service to plan demonstrations, which have continued over the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody.
"Kurdish women in Iran are twice oppressed; as women facing a theocratic regime that is biased against women in virtually every area of life and as Kurds who are discriminated against in everyday life"— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) October 8, 2022
#IranProtests #MahsaAmini https://t.co/uUdxFT9LiQ
The protests have spread across the country. At least 154 people are believed to have been killed so far, with hundreds more arrested.
The government has also tried to shut down internet access.
The Iranian authorities calls the protests "riots", and has blamed foreign powers – particularly the US and Israel – for being behind them.
Young women have often been leading the protests, tearing off and defiantly waving their headscarves as they call for toppling the government.
Iranian authorities late last month blocked social media applications Instagram and WhatsApp, while Twitter, YouTube and Facebook applications have been blocked since 2009, forcing Iranians to access them through VPN.