As elections loom, one social media platform appears to have escaped the hardliners’ curbs and filters

As Iran gears up for parliamentary elections at the end of the month, an instant messaging app believed to be used by one in four Iranians is set to play a major role.

Telegram allows users to broadcast to unlimited numbers of people on public channels, with a strong emphasis on privacy protection for its users. It made headlines when it emerged that members of Islamic State were using it to broadcast propaganda. In Iran, however, which has a tech-savvy young population, it is mostly downloaded for reading news, communicating with friends or sharing jokes.

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