ASL19 blog

  • An Overview of ICD 2022

    After three long years apart, the annual Iran Cyber Dialogue in-person gathering was held in October of 2022. Bringing together diverse actors with a focus on identifying tools and solutions for technology and civil society issues in Iran, ICD 2022 was an opportunity to reconnect as a community, establish new relationships, and collaborate on tangible […]

  • A brand new Factnameh website is here!

    In April 2017, Factnameh started its journey as the first fact-checking platform covering misinformation in Iran and Persian content online. Since then, we have published over 700 fact-checks and investigated claims and narratives from prominent actors in Iran’s political and media sectors.  In the past five years, as the platform and its audience grew, so […]

  • Story of BeePassVPN Branding

    Let’s make this VPN more lively. How did the story of branding our first VPN (Virtual Private Network) start? ASL19, a technology and media organization working on helping people access information, launched BeePass VPN in early 2021 to help people in Iran — where voices and content are frequently censored by the state — to […]

  • Eight Years and 100 Promises: The final chapter of Rouhani Meter

    Eight years ago, Rouhani Meter became the first to introduce promise-tracking and structured journalism into Persian-language online media. While the project came to an end as Hassan Rouhani handed over the presidency after his second term, the promise-tracking efforts and results continue to shape what government accountability could look like in Iran. In a Final […]

  • Four years of fact-checking and counting: An interview with Factnameh Editor in Chief Farhad Souzanchi

    Factnameh is a multimedia fact-checking platform focused on countering misinformation in Iran and building capacity among journalists and civil society to hold those in power accountable and ensure facts remain at the centre of public debate. Similar to other countries, misinformation and disinformation campaigns are on the rise in Iran, often disseminated through state media, […]

  • Working With TunnelBear To Circumvent Internet Censorship In Iran

    Earlier this year, the team at TunnelBear reached out to us looking to expand their services to Iranian users as part of their new anti-censorship program. Soon after, like many other places around the world, Toronto went into lockdown due to Covid-19. While we didn’t get the chance to meet in person, our team at […]

  • Statement on Behdad Esfahbod’s Interrogation by Iranian authorities

    On August 17, Behdad Esfahbod, a prominent Iranian-Canadian software engineer, publicly shared his experience being detained and interrogated by the Iranian authorities (IRGC) during his visit to Iran earlier this year.  We’re deeply saddened and disturbed to hear about Behdad’s traumatic time in detention and ongoing post-traumatic experiences that continue till today. Through Behdad, we have […]

  • How We’re Using Technology to Counter Misinformation

    Weeks ago, we received a tip about misinformation circulating on a private Telegram channel. This was during the height of the pandemic and we had already grown accustomed to reading about all sorts of misinformation and fake COVID-19 remedies online. But this was different. This channel had 35,000 members who were inundated with a large […]

  • The Shrine of Fatima Masumeh in Qom by Amir Hesaminejad for Tasnim News Agency

    Misinformation in a Time of COVID-19: A Look Inside Iran

    Misinformation about COVID-19 can pose serious threats to public health. It manipulates how people perceive and react to a serious global pandemic, such as creating a false sense of safety or misconceptions about the causes and treatments for the illness. Given the widespread distrust of state media, online misinformation is particularly insidious in Iran as […]

  • Rouhani Meter Annual Report (Executive Summary)

    August 2019 marks the sixth anniversary of Hassan Rouhani’s presidency. His sixth year in office was a difficult one, both for him and for the people of Iran. The economic and political crises that began earlier seem to continue into his seventh year.  The Rouhani administration has not experienced such instability since he came to […]

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