Iran 'blacklists' Freelancer.com

Home-grown freelancing and outsourcing site Freelancer.com appears to have been blocked in Iran.

Home-grown freelancing and outsourcing site Freelancer.com appears to have been blocked in Iran.

Matt Barrie

Matt Barrie
(Credit: Freelancer.com)

Iran has a long history of internet censorship. The country censors almost everything from its people, including controversial political content and several news outlets. Iran blocks prominent websites, including Twitter, Facebook, Reuters and the BBC, and now appears to have added Freelancer.com to that list.

Freelancer.com was tipped off to the block after a user of the site said that he could no longer access the site.

Company founder and CEO Matt Barrie is disappointed by the move.

"The reasons for the ban are unspecified, but thousands of Iranian freelancers are now being denied opportunities to work and earn online at a time when the internet has irrevocably disrupted global labour markets.

"Freelancer.com members in Iran have gone to great lengths to access the site. They used to use VPNs — virtual private networks — but the government slowed connection speeds so as to make it near impossible, and now this," Barrie said in a statement.

ZDNet Australia understands that Freelancer.com is attempting to have the ban on the site removed.

Barrie said he hopes that the ban is lifted soon.

"We hope the authorities will reconsider their stance on Freelancer.com, because, historically, Iran has given the world major advancements in mathematics, astronomy and other fields.

"They're an accomplished people, and have a lot more to offer," he said.

Iran recently began a transition to a controversial "national internet" that will give the censors the ability to shut down the country's access to the internet at will.

Freelancer.com now boasts over three million members in 234 countries around the world.

ZDNet Australia has contacted the Iranian embassy for comment, but had not received a response at the time of writing.