By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin and Sam Wilkin DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian authorities have arrested administrators of more than 20 groups on the messaging app Telegram for spreading "immoral content", semi-official Fars news agency reported on Sunday, the latest detentions in a clampdown on freedom of expression. In recent weeks, Iran's powerful hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has rounded up a number of artists, journalists and U.S. citizens, citing fears of Western "infiltration". Their campaign coincides with Iran beginning the implementation of a nuclear deal signed with world powers in July, which hardliners oppose for fear it will open up Iranian society to what they see as corrupting Western influences. The Telegram groups were targeted for their "immoral content", police spokesman Saeed Montazer al-Mahdi was quoted as saying by Fars. He also said more than 100 "hackers" had been arrested in the past month, without giving more details. Telegram's Chief Executive Pavel Durov said last month that Iranian authorities had demanded he hand over "spying and censorship tools", and temporarily blocked the app when he refused. He was later informed by Iran's Ministry of Information that the request was "not authorized by any higher authorities". The IRGC announced the Telegram users' arrests last week, saying they had shared images and text "insulting to Iranian officials" as well as "satire and sexual advice". At the time, the judiciary denied any such arrests had occurred. It has not commented on Sunday's reports. Last week, U.N. human rights investigators called on the authorities to cease arresting, harassing and prosecuting journalists and other activists to pave the way for free debate ahead of parliamentary elections in February. Under the nuclear deal, Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions on its economy. Iran always denied Western suspicions it wanted to develop a nuclear weapon. SOCIAL MEDIA Smartphone messaging applications are highly popular in Iran, where half of the population is aged 24 or younger. The Islamic Republic has some of the strictest controls on Internet access in the world, but its blocks on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are routinely bypassed by the tech-savvy. Several branches of the security establishment monitor content, including the IRGC. Infractions on social media can result in harsh sentences from the hardline judiciary. Last year, 11 people were arrested by the IRGC for insulting Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic's founder, on messaging services Whatsapp, Tango, Viber and Telegram. Telegram, which was launched in 2013, has become popular among activists and ordinary Iranians because it is seen as being more secure than its rivals. (Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- Business Insider
America isn't running out of everything just because of a supply-chain crisis. America is running out of everything because Americans are buying so much stuff.
Claims that the US is running short on everything miss a key point. Record imports are part of the reason for the epic supply-chain congestion.
The White House press secretary asked the Fox News reporter a question he couldn't answer.
'Too Hot to Handle' star Harry Jowsey says he knew he got busted receiving oral sex as it was happening because he saw 'like 65 cameras' swerve on him to film it
Jowsey said there were "like 65 cameras" in his room on the show, including some right above his bed, in order to catch contestants in the act.
Angelina Jolie plays Thena — a warrior with immense strength, speed and stamina — in Eternals
- Rolling Stone
The former president is jealous of how the media is covering the late Republican's death
- Dolphins Wire
The Hall of Fame wideout has seen enough of the second-year quarterback.
- Business Insider
Joey Holz, whose experiment went viral, told Insider he specifically applied to businesses that were publicly complaining of a worker shortage.
- Good Housekeeping
'NCIS' season 19 showed Gibbs (Mark Harmon) leave the team and in Monday night's episode, the new team leader was named. Fans reacted to Park (Gary Cole) getting the job instead of McGee (Sean Murray).
Jennifer Gates, the eldest daughter of Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, celebrated her wedding to Nayel Nassar over the weekend
The incident: In the beginning of the video, the original poster Denise Carino (@dennydoestiktok) is in the middle of clarifying what the woman had said to her. Carino also updated in the comments that the general manager had called to apologize.
- Fighting Irish Wire
Hardly a surprise...
- HuffPost Life
Curious what activities may be associated with higher COVID-19 transmission? Here's what data suggests.
- Associated Press
A man charged with raping a woman on a commuter train just outside of Philadelphia harassed her for more than 40 minutes while multiple people held up their phones to seemingly record the assault without intervening, authorities said. More than two dozen train stops passed as the man harassed, groped and eventually raped the woman, the police chief for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said at a news conference Monday. Both the man and woman got on the train at the same stop Wednesday night in North Philadelphia.
- Lebron Wire
Here's why the Los Angeles Lakers claimed Avery Bradley off waivers, according to a report.
- Town & Country
William and Kate attended a gathering in the sunken garden of Kensington Palace in honor of the statue in Princess Diana's memory
- Yahoo Life
Rousey used Instagram to call attention to the stigma around breastfeeding.
- Charlotte Observer
It’s just the latest fan incident at Bank of America Stadium to go viral.
Kate Middleton fully embodied fall this evening in London when the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in a long red turtleneck dress for Forward Trust's “Taking Action on Addiction” campaign launch.
- In The Know by Yahoo
Ex-Disney princess reveals alleged dark side of the job: 'They go to a place for children ... and act like this'
Becoming a Disney princess at one of the company's theme parks is a dream job for many.
- Yahoo Sports
Baker Mayfield wants to play through the injury and will get a second opinion.