Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty Member of Culture, Art and Communication Research Institute, Iran

2 MA in Global Media and Communication at Helsinki University, Finland


"My Stealthy Freedom" is the name of a Facebook page that demands to protest against compulsory Hijab and demonstrate willing of clothing freedom for women in Iran. The foundation and activity of the page had been described as a "social movement". Some western media claimed that this would be a successful social movement for Iranian women and some others asserted that this page would be a new platform in which Iranian women represent a new image of their identity. In this paper, analyzing qualitatively a purposive sample of photos with their captions, we are questioning these claims again. Our findings indicate that despite some excitements about a new social movement for Iranian women in western media and western human rights association, "My Stealthy Freedom" cannot be considered as a new applicable social movement against Iran's government and the law of compulsory hijab in Iran. Finally, we conclude that this Facebook page is not only incapable of organizing a real social movement against hijab, but also can be a well-suited example for the concept of slacktivism.


Main Subjects

[1] Carpenter, J. (16 May 2014). Iranian women shed hijabs for ‘Stealthy Freedoms’ Facebook page,
[2] Castells, M. (2007). Communication, Power and Counter-power in the Network Society. International Journal of Communication, 1(2), 38-266.
[3] Christensen, H. (3 November 2011). Political activities on the internet: slacktivism or political participation by other means,
[4] Cragun, R., Cragun, D., et al, (2006). Introduction to Sociology. Blacksleet River.
[5] Fildes, J. (11 February 2010). MEPs condemn Nokia Siemens 'surveillance tech' in Iran,
[6] Gerbaudo, P. (2012). Tweets and the Streets; Social Media and Contemporary Activism. London: Pluto Press.
[7] Global Internet Report. (2015). Mobile Evolution and Development of the Internet,
[8] Howard, P., Duffy, A., Freelon, D. & et al. (2011). Opening closed regimes what was the role of social media during the Arab spring, Seattle, WA: University of Washington.
[9] Karimi, S. (2015). Iranian Women’s Identity and Cyberspace: Case study of Stealthy Freedom, journal of social science studies, 2(1). 221-233.
[10] Khan, O. (1 September 2014). Iranian women dare to unveil,
[11] Leonard, C. (2009). In Defense of “Slacktivism”,
[12] Monterde, A. & Postill, J. (2013). Mobile ensembles: The uses of mobile phones for social protest by Spain’s indignados. In G. Goggin & L. Hjorth (Eds.), Routledge Companion to Mobile Media. London: Routledge.
[13] Morozov, E. (2011). The net delusion: The dark side of internet freedom (1st Ed.). New York: Public Affairs.
[14] Morozov, E. (23 November 2010). The brave new world of slacktivism, Foreign Policy,
[15] Philips, K. (2014). Young adults are slacktivists, and that's a good thing,
[16] Reporters sans frontières (RSF). (25 September 2014). "Iran." The Enemies of Internet.
[17] Sreberny, A. (2015). “Women's Digital Activism in a Changing Middle East”, International Journal of Middle East Studies. 47, PP 357-361.
[18] Shirky, C. (2008). Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without. US: Penguin Press.
[19] Shulman, Stuart W. (2005). “The Internet still might (but probably won’t) change everything: Stakeholder views on the future of electronic rulemaking”, Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, 1(1), PP 111–145.
[20] The Guardian, (12 May 2014). Iranian women post pictures of themselves without hijabs on Facebook,
[21] The Guardian, (24 February 2015). Iranian woman wins rights award for hijab campaign,
[22] The Tabnak, (14 January 2014). The Statistics of Iranian Users on Facebook,
[23] Tofekci, Z. & Wilson, C. (2012). “Social Media and the Decision to Participate in Political Protest: Observations from Tahrir Square”, Journal of Communication, 62, PP 363–379.
[24] United Nations (UN). (2014). Human Rights Council. Summary Prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Accordance with Paragraph 15 of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1 and Paragraph 5 of Annex to Council Resolution 16/21.