The recent demonstrations in Iran are centered around many Iranian’s dislike toward the Islamic Republic that was established in 1979. They have expressed profound disagreements regarding the treatment of women, the faltering economy and employment rates, the government’s involvement in Syria — the list continues.

However, the government has since shut down most of the social media platforms used to organize these rallies in an effort to quell the demonstrations. Controlling the media — be it social media, media outlets or other methods of information flow — is a hallmark of authoritarian control. The messaging service called Telegram was instrumental in organizing these events, and it has been restricted along with Instagram.

There have also been reports of counter-protests, sponsored by the state. As the demonstrations have progressed, much of the picture and video media (run by the state) has begun to shift focus from the anti-government protests, leaning more toward the pro-government ones. Much of this media (as seen below) is centered on women supporting the strict Islamic law seen in Iran, which is in contrast to the international community’s criticisms toward the country in their treatment of women.

Burma has historically tried similar methods in controlling information, sponsoring rallies against the Rohingya and controlling what information is broadcasted in regards to what has been described by the UN as “textbook ethnic cleansing.” They have played to the western anxiety toward Muslim extremism, and now Iran is submitting toward the international community’s sympathy in regards to the destruction of public property.