An app to help protect young Iranians from the brutal police punishment meted out if they are caught freely expressing themselves, has been downloaded by thousands. In Iran the Gashte Ershad, which is commonly known as the ‘morality police’, patrols the streets looking for woman deemed to be wearing too much makeup or revealing clothes, and men having provocative haircuts or western-style clothing. The app works by crowdsourcing the locations of these Gashte agents and displaying them on a map. This allows people to stay away from those areas and thus avoid the harsh penalties for being found ‘immoral’.
The Iranian government took the app down after just 24 hours in an attempt to retain their control over the people’s desire to be free. But determined hackers and users immediately found ways to work around the ban, and the app continues to flourish… much to the delight of young Iranians.