Latest in Culture

Image credit:

Iranians are using crowdsourcing to avoid 'morality police'

Gershad helps people dodge checkpoints.
24 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

In spite of their overbearing government, the people of Iran remain culturally liberal. And now a new app named Gershad aims to help young Iranians avoid Ershad, the country's infamous "morality police."

Ershad agents are tasked with ensuring Iranians follow strict rules on clothing and conduct. Part of this includes setting up checkpoints around town and randomly inspecting vehicles driving by. Should someone be found violating regulations, they could be warned, prosecuted or forced to write a letter of repentance saying they will never break the rules again. These checkpoints typically consist of a van with a few agents, and can move around town at will. Gershad wants to help people avoid them.

The app is simple in its construction. First it asks users to report whenever they encounter Ershad. This data is then added to a database and placed on a map. The more reports in one place, the bolder the warning on the map. Users can then, it's hoped, avoid the agents and have a regular evening. Think of it like the popular mapping app Waze, but with harsher penalties than a traffic jam if you don't use it.

Released this week, the app (just like Waze) will live and die on the number of people using it. With thousands of reporting users, though, it could be a very useful tool. Early signs suggest it's beginning to take hold -- local BBC presenter Nima Akbarpour tweeted an image filled with Ershad warnings last night.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
24 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Test shows dark mode really can save battery life on OLED iPhones

Test shows dark mode really can save battery life on OLED iPhones

View
Sonar drone helps find a WWII Japanese aircraft carrier

Sonar drone helps find a WWII Japanese aircraft carrier

View
Next-gen hearing implants could overcome inner ear damage

Next-gen hearing implants could overcome inner ear damage

View
Amazon sellers are shipping long-expired food

Amazon sellers are shipping long-expired food

View
Bungie pulls popular gun from 'Destiny 2' after discovering exploit

Bungie pulls popular gun from 'Destiny 2' after discovering exploit

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr