After reports by the Iranian administration that the Viber and Instagram websites will not be blocked, despite a push by Iranian hardliners, a member of the Working Group to Determine Criminal Content in Cyber Space has been quoted as saying that the content of these social networking sites will be “cleansed.”

ISNA reports that Ramazanali Sobhanifar said: “Our committee is not concerned with blocking Viber and Instagram; the issue is to establish smart filtering.”

“Smart filtering” is a term used by the Iranian government to describe the selective censoring  of sections of websites that are deemed to be “against Islamic Republic values” as opposed to blocking the entire website.

Sobhanifar said: “We are simply seeking to cleanse the content of Viber and Instagram.”

He was earlier quoted as saying that the Working Group had discussed blocking Viber and Instagram at a meeting last Monday but decided not to do so.