Google Reader's Demise a Win—for Iranian Censors

But most Americans won't care

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 14, 2013 1:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – The news of Google Reader's demise was met with cries of despair from news nerds, and shrugs from most of America. "Normal people don't use Google Reader, so get over it," reads one Daily Intel headline. "New rule: You get one tweet to memorialize how much it meant to you, and then you have to stop complaining." But the move is a legitimate tragedy in one part of the world, Zachary Seward at Quartz points out: Iran.

That's because RSS feeds provide a way around censorship firewalls like Iran's; subscribe to a banned site on Google Reader, and you can read it there even if the main site is blocked. And while there are other RSS readers out there, Iran can easily block them. To shut down Google Reader, it would probably have to block all of Google. "What does the Internet without Google Reader look like?" one Iranian wondered in a Google+ post today. "What harm will come to the online world?"

This Twitter screenshot shows one reaction to the news from Iran.
This Twitter screenshot shows one reaction to the news from Iran.   (Twitter)
In this file photo, a Google receptionist works at the front desk in the company's office in New York.
In this file photo, a Google receptionist works at the front desk in the company's office in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
In this file photo, people attend a workshop, New York Get Your Business Online, at Google offices in New York.
In this file photo, people attend a workshop, "New York Get Your Business Online," at Google offices in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
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