Why Google Reader was important for Iranians?
Google Reader was a circumvention tool.
Google Reader has been shut down today and to be honest, it’s not a big issue for most internet users around the world except some of them such as Iranian users.
The main reason is due to the current state of the Internet in Iran which a friend of mine mentioned it previously: “Filternet”
Internet censorship is very sophisticated in Iran although after the 2013 presidential elections, the filtering situation is better and users can access Facebook, Twitter, etc. through VPNs and other circumvention tools. But the main issue remaines and most websites and blogs are blocked in Iran. For instance, Wordpress and Blogger are completely blocked! It means if you open a blog on either of them, your blog cannot be followed by users inside the country, without the use of circumvention tools.
In this difficult situation, Google Reader had a vital role in helping Iranian users to bypass the filtering system because blocking of Google and its services has not been easy in Iran. Whenever the authorities have wanted to block Google, they have be faced with a storm of protest from users to MPs which forced them to change their decision and unblock the website.
Therefore, Google Reader was one of the few services that users could count on it as the last solution. For instance, if they couldn’t connect through circumvention tools to open news websites, they could read latest news, posts, etc. on Google Reader.
Anyway, Google Reader has gone and Iranian users have lost one of their emergency circumvention tools. The tool they nicknamed: ‘Gooder’
R.I.P. Google Reader or Gooder…