Android app helps Iranians avoid morality police checkpoints

Morals checkpoints reported in Tehran by users of Gershad. (credit: Gershad)

Community mapping applications come in all shapes and sizes. There are apps to help drivers avoid speed traps, maneuver around traffic jams, and find cheap gas. And now there's one that helps people avoid being pulled from their car by the Ershad—Iran's morals police.

Anonymous developers in Iran recently released an Android app that is intended to help young Iranians share intelligence about Ershad checkpoints. Called "Gershad," the app depends on crowdsourced reports from users to help others avoid being stopped, harassed, or even possibly beaten or arrested for failing to adhere to the Ershad interpretations of Islamic morality.

The app was highlighted by Nima Akbarpour, the presenter of Persian Click (a technology show on BBC's Persian service).

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