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17 June, 2024
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Meta removes Iran leader's social media accounts for breaking rules

Social media giant's stand against misinformation: Ayatollah Khamenei's accounts removed


Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, experienced a significant blow to his online presence as Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, took down his official accounts for violating content policies, according to a report by India Today.

The decision, announced on Thursday, came as Meta cited repeated breaches of their Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy. Khamenei's accounts were flagged for engaging in activities considered inauthentic and misleading, misrepresenting identities and intentions.

Meta's action extended to a broader network reportedly associated with the Iranian regime. A local Iranian source, Al Bawaba, reported that Meta removed 200 Facebook accounts, 125 Instagram accounts, nine groups, and 29 pages linked to this network.

The rationale behind Meta's decision lies in its policy aimed at preventing individuals or groups with a violent agenda from using its platforms to propagate their message or organize harmful activities.

Despite being banned from using these platforms in Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei had amassed a significant following, with over 5.1 million followers on his Persian-language Instagram page and more than 204,000 on his English-language account.

However, Meta's move has stirred accusations of hypocrisy. Mohammad Marandi, an academic and former advisor to the Iranian government, highlighted the disparity in treatment, noting that Israeli officials who support actions in Gaza have not faced similar restrictions. Marandi emphasized Khamenei's role as a supporter of Palestinian resistance, suggesting that this stance might have been the underlying reason for the account takedown.

Meta's action against Khamenei's accounts underscores the ongoing challenge of regulating online content and the delicate balance between freedom of expression and the need to curb harmful activities on social media platforms.

[With information sourced from The News International]

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