Iran Hopes Facebook Will Help Battle Porn

Jul 24, 2012 12:00 PM PST

TEHRAN, Iran — Police in Iran are hoping to team up with Facebook in an effort to remove pages on the website that feature porn and prostitution.

The move reflects a change of heart for Iranian officials that previously banned the social networking giant after it was used as an organizing tool for activists.

According to reports from a semi-official Iranian news agency, Gen. Kamal Hadianfar, head of Iran's cyber-police, said the country will attempt to remove the citizen-created pages in question in cooperation with Facebook.

The general did not elaborate on what the plan would entail.

Facebook was shuttered after controversial presidential elections in 2009 when the government accused Facebook and Twitter of stirring up post-election unrest.

This marks the latest get-tough salvo launched against porn in the country.

Early this year, website programmer Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence for developing and promoting porn sites was upheld by Iran’s supreme court.

The Iranian-born Canadian resident faces imminent execution despite a reprieve in June of 2011 when the sentence was suspended and set for judicial review after his defense lawyers introduced expert evidence amidst an international outcry for justice.

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