Just three years after Iran’s crackdown on the Internet, in 2012, the country’s supreme leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei joined Instagram, a service technically banned by the state. @khamenei_ir has 4643 posts, 1.6 million followers and follows just 12 accounts on the popular photo sharing site owned by Facebook. Ayatollah Khamenei’s account is a far cry from the typical Instagram fare. Here you won’t find artistic portraits of a plate of chelo kebab or candid shots of the Ayatollah cuddling kittens. Instead, the page is filled with propaganda including videos of his speeches, some over a minute long. A feat that left many users wondering how the Supreme Leader managed to beat Instagram’s non-negotiable 15-second cut-off. It was a technical glitch, said Instagram.
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