“Underground Blogging in Early 2000s in Iran ” by Amir Yahya Ayatollahi
A significant challenge of anonymous and underground blogging in Iran was that it intensified our already dual life by further dividing it into two parts; one life outside the blogosphere (in the real world), and the other as a form of cyber existence within the blog space. Freedom of speech in the cyber space led to reinforcing the dual personality of Iranians in our semi-traditional society with its notable traits of behavioral anarchy and contradictions. This freedom of speech in the cyber world did not come to us for free. Many of us bloggers lived in the state of constant fear, dreading our hidden character surfacing to expose our “other” real life identity. We feared societal and political consequences in a restricting environment under the rule of the Islamic Republic, and in a context where traditional values still often preceded acts of free and controversial self-expression. In such an environment, I anonymously wrote a popular blog called “Creature” in which I expressed my doubts about religion and politics.