Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iranians Invent Hashtags To Mock State TV For Calling Obama 'Seemingly Black'

Former U.S. President Barack Obama, left, delivers his speech at the 16th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, July 17, 2018.

Iranian social media users have created a host of hashtags with "seemingly" and similar words to criticize a state-run television (IRIB) anchor who called the former U.S. President Barack Obama "the seemingly black former U.S. President" in a news program on Friday.

The derogatory epithet was used by the anchor -- apparently reading from cues -- to describe President Obama's participation and speech in the funeral of the U.S. civil rights hero John Lewis as an act of "hypocrisy to win the hearts of black protesters".

The Persian term used in the label for the former U.S. President can be translated in different ways including "seemingly", "apparently", "disguised as" and "so-called" according to context.

Some of the hashtags that have been created refer to the state-run media and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as "so-called national TV" and "so-called Leader".

Other hashtags include "so-called republic" and "apparently Islamic" in reference to the Islamic Republic as well as "executioner disguised as judge" and "interrogator disguised as reporter" to describe judges famous for issuing death sentences and IRIB reporters who have participated in making programs that contain "forced confessions" of political and security prisoners.

On July 15 a wide cross-section of Iranians resorted to a campaign on social media against the authorities with "Don't Execute" hashtag in protest to the announcement of the conviction of three young November protesters to death.

The original tweet containing the "Don't Execute" hashtag was retweeted and viewed millions of times and for a few hours even gained a spot among the most used hashtags of Twitter. Iranian authorities had to resort to disrupting Internet access to slow the trending of the hashtag.