the Last Door to Freedom
Google will be retiring many Google Reader's features like friending, following and shared link blogs. It is nothing unusual for companies to change their products. Probably these changes don't bother most Google users worldwide . But these changes will probably cause big problems in Iranian struggle for freedom and enlightenment. Why is Reader so important to us?
Let's see why Google Reader is so important for democratization process of Iran:
1. Google Reader is uncensored in Iran. If the Iranian government would want to filter Google Reader, they would have to filter all of the Google products, which is almost impossible. Because of that, many people use Google Reader to read censored websites and blogs, since they are all filtered.
2. Many activists such as Vahid Online share the most important news with Google Reader's share button. If we know that 7500 people are following Vahid, we can imagine how important Google Reader is. Including, it is very easy to write comments under the news.
3. Including to the news, people can write other stuff in Reader. They can share their feelings and experiences with each other. It is not important who you are but about the content. For many, Reader is the only door to the outside world and it is why it is so popular in Iran.
4. Many bloggers, already suffering under filtering, will lose almost all of their subscribers inside Iran. Arman Amiri e.g. predicts to lose 4000 of his daily readers. He could still share his new notes in google plus, but most of people cannot open the link. He asks himself if he would continue blogging at all and whether the risk he is taking would still be worth it.
Just think about the lack of Reader for these people.
I am sure Google doesn't want to prevent Iranians from all these possibilities. May be they don't know the meaning of their product to the people of Iran. May be they know it and have a solution for it already. I don't know. But I think it was the only thing I could do for thousands of worried people in Iran.
What you could do
For now, please sign this petition.
If you are able to, please inform journalists and Google directly about Reader's meaning to the Iranians (and probably some others, too).