A young Iranian woman currently faces charges by the government for the content of her Instagram videos. Maedeh Hajabri posted a video dancing to pop and rap music without donning a hijab in her bedroom, which is a requirement for all women who appear in public.
Hojabri wasn’t alone in her arrest – several other Iranians faced similar arrests for their Instagram content. Instagram remains one of the few platforms untouched by government regulation in Iran; immediately following these arrests, however, there is speculation that the government will ban Instagram, or filter the content as it does on Facebook and Twitter.
— Negar (@NegarMortazavi) July 8, 2018
The detainees forcibly appeared on state television to make confessions to their crimes, including Hojabri, who explained the intention of the video was only for her 600,000 followers, not for personal attention. “I did not have any intention to encourage others doing the same … I didn’t work with a team, I received no training. I only do gymnastics,” she continued.
News coverage of Hojabri’s arrest has, ironically, spread the reach of her videos far beyond her Instagram account. This arrest is particularly impactful because of how common similar videos are within American culture at large, and especially within the EDM subculture. Videos similar to Hojabri’s appear daily on social media accounts by women head banging to dubstep, ridden, or lip syncing the lyrics to their favorite songs. Meanwhile in Iran, the cyber-police are continuing to take action against accounts similar to Hojabri’s, censoring any unwanted content.
What are your thoughts on censorship and this controversial arrest? Let us know in the comments.