1. Iranians had a few hours of access to Facebook and Twitter before a firewall went back up by Tuesday, and Tehran scotched talk of new internet freedoms by blaming a technical glitch for the brief opening of access.


    Late on Monday, several people in Iran found that they could log into their accounts on the U.S.-based social media sites without using techniques to circumvent blocks on Twitter and Facebook that the state imposed four years ago, during a clampdown on the biggest protests since the Islamic revolution.


    The brief window prompted speculation that it might herald a broader easing of censorship under President Hasan Rowhani; last month, he succeeded Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose re-election in 2009 sparked the demonstrations, in which social media played a part.

  2. Access was being blocked again on Tuesday, however, and an official involved in controlling internet usage said that the brief lifting of the embargo at some Iranian internet service providers was probably caused by a technical malfunction.
  3. Many users in Iran use a virtual public network, or VPN, to use internet functions blocked by their government.

    Thomas Erdbrink, the New York Times' Tehran bureau chief, tweeted on Monday while the window was open, and gave updates via VPN when it was blocked again.
  4. Rowhani does have his own Twitter account which is able to tweet normally. It has yet to make a comment on the recent firewall window. Iran also runs a Facebook page for Rowhani, which launched in April.
  5. Several posted their thanks to Rowhani, believing his administration was responsible for the change.


    "Hurray, I came to Facebook without using VPN,” said one user on Facebook, reported Efdbrink. “Thank you Rowhani!!!"


    Wired reports that several people posted "Rowhani, Mochakerim," or "Thank you, Rowhani" in Farsi. "One user even wrote 'God liberated Facebook," according to Wired.

  6. Several accounts tweeted once or twice, then went silent at around the same time Monday afternoon. Others continued, presumably via VPN, voicing their disappointment at what they originally thought might have been a permanent change.
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