Iran is taking aim at Britney Spears as it tries to blame Western celebrities for domestic violence and anger.
Iran’s state-sponsored media, the Republic of Iran News Agency (IRNA), railed against Spears after she tweeted in support of the Iranian people, who are protesting against Iran’s strict religious rules. country after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
To many, this tweet was an innocuous endorsement, like other tweets sent by Western celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Bella Hadid, and Justin Bieber. The short 13-word tweet said Spears and her Iranian-American husband “stand with the Iranian people in their fight for freedom.”
But this tweet seems to have hit a nerve in the Islamic Republic of Iran, causing Twitter, citing Spears’ 13 years of preservation, ending November 2021 — and in doing so cast doubt on her intellect. “American singer Britney Spears was placed under her father’s care in 2008 due to her mental health issues,” the organization tweeted.
IRNA’s tweet says her stewardship “has allowed Britney’s father to control her finances and even aspects of her personal life such as pregnancy, remarriage and son visits. her teenage years”.
Iran’s attack on Spears is part of a broader social media strategy aimed at attacking and blaming both Iranian and Western celebrities for inciting anger and protest in the country.
Mohsen Mansouri, governor of Tehran province, said in late September that Iran would “take action against the celebrities who fanned the flames of the riot.” His comments were echoed by Iran’s justice chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, who alleged that “those who became famous through support from the system joined the enemy when times were tough”.
But so far IRNA, under the direction of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, appears to be focusing its efforts on debunking the ’90s pop star’s emotions — their tweet before taking aim at Spears takes aim at Shakira and her silence around Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women.
Government media campaign
Protests in Iran broke out on September 16 after the public became aware of the death of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested by the country’s ethics police a week earlier for “inappropriate attire” and exposing too much hair under a headscarf or headscarf. Amini died in hospital a few days after her arrest, with images showing her being beaten. Her family came to say she had been killed by police, although police assumed she died of a sudden heart attack.
According to the Iranian NGO Human Rights, as of October 17, at least 215 people have been killed in the government’s crackdown on subsequent protests. The protests marked the deadliest civil unrest in the country since protests in 2019/2020 left more than 1,500 people dead.
To quell dissent, Iranian authorities have almost completely shut down the country’s internet and restricted access to it. Instagram and WhatsApp. London-based internet monitoring site Netblocks told Sky News that the authorities have managed to cut out regions and platforms faster and more accurately than before, imposing daily national-scale Internet curfews.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been trying to maintain tight control over the internet since 2012, going as far as to establish a Supreme Council for Cyberspace, led by non-governmental security agencies. There is public scrutiny, to regulate the online space and shape Iran’s internet policy.
This hasn’t stopped #mahsaamini, or in Persian # مهسا_امینی, from becoming the most widely used hashtag in the six weeks since the protests began. According to social analytics firm TalkWalker, #mahsaamini has been posted at least 65.1 million times on the internet since her death, and #مهسا_امینی has been posted at least 305.5 million times. IRNA even used #mahsaamini in its own tweet when calling Spears, possibly in a move to put online space in favor of protesting with government narratives.
In addition to using hashtags, protesters spread the message of the fight against the regime by passing protest songs like “Baraye”by one of Iran’s most famous musicians Shervin Hajipour, and shows the action of women cut their hair Spread.
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