Iran's regime falls short of meeting democratic standards due to the overarching influence of its clerical establishment in critical institutions, such as the judiciary and security forces, or their strict regulations on internet censorship. In the first decade of the 21st century, Iran experienced a significant surge in Internet usage. Millions of Iranians stay connected to the world through social media, despite attempts by the regime to restrict the access of a young, tech-savvy population. The Iranian government and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps persistently block social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, and many popular websites, such as Blogger, HBO, YouTube, and Netflix. The 2009 Access to Information Law, which enables the government to withhold information on vague grounds – further strengthens state censorship of Information Law, which empowers the government to withhold information under insufficient feet, such as protecting state interests and public security. With all the restrictive measures towards media freedom and internet use, the efforts seem ineffective, as millions of Iranians nonetheless stay connected via social media. This is primarily attributed to proxies and VPNs, which enable young Iranians to bypass restrictions. Nowadays, Social media use in Iran is mainly attributed to young Iranians as a means for the opposition to push the political boundaries and talk about the many crimes and human rights violations at the hands of the Islamic regime.
After the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who was killed in Tehran, Iran, under suspicious circumstances, due to Morality Police brutality, Iranians broke their silence. They joined others in raising their voice on social media. Twitter and Instagram became a platform to help Iranians inside and outside of Iran become united and courageous to fight for their freedom. With all the efforts of Iranian netizens now, Mahsa Amini's hashtag has been used and retweeted more than 100 million times, triggering nationwide protests in Iran hoping to overthrow the Islamic regime.