Meta Removes Accounts Of Iran Supreme Leader Khamenei Due To Israeli Lobby Group Pressure

On Thursday, Meta removed the Instagram and Facebook accounts of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

According to an emailed statement from a Meta spokesperson to Axios, the accounts were removed for “repeatedly violating our Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy.”

Meta did not specify exactly how the accounts associated with Khamenei violated the policy, which bans individuals or groups “that promote a violent mission or are engaged in violence.”

The policy’s description page states that these individuals and groups are assessed “based on their behavior both online and offline.”

Entities that glorify, support or represent terrorist organizations that have been designated by the U.S. government are included in the policy.

Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, was designated by the U.S. as a terrorist organization in 1997, and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels were recently re-designated as a “global terrorist group” by the Biden administration.

Iranian officials commonly employ the term “Zionist entity” in their English social media communications and refrain from using “Israel,” a practice flagged in violation of Meta’s hate speech guidelines.

The Meta spokesperson noted that both Instagram and Facebook are blocked in Iran.

This action is believed to largely be the result of pressure exerted by Israeli lobby groups following the Oct. 7 terrorist attack in southern Israel.

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt praised Meta with a recent post on X.

In recent years, the U.S. government and U.S. media platforms have taken various actions to censor and deplatform Iranian state media outlets.

One prominent example occurred in October 2020 when major social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, removed accounts linked to Iranian state media organizations like Press TV and Iran’s Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

In December 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice required Press TV and other Iranian state media outlets to register as foreign agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), further restricting their activities within the United States. In January 2021, YouTube suspended Press TV’s official channel, citing violations of its community guidelines.

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