According to his reports CNN, two of the biggest social media outlets of our time, Instagram and Facebook, remove posts supporting Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general and leader who was killed in an air raid carried out by USA.
As the Coda Story reports, many were Iranian journalists, influencers and human rights activists who saw their posts deleted, and in some cases their accounts blocked.
As Instagram is one of the few Western social media platforms allowed in Iran, many have been posting about Soleimani since his death. Facebook and Twitter have been banned from the country, but some people have access to them through VPN.
Facebook, which also owns Instagram, said deleting those posts was a consequence of sanctions under US law. "We operate in accordance with US sanctions laws, including those related to the US government's definition of the IRGC and its leadership," a Facebook spokesman told CNN. The spokesman also said that those users who feel that their posts were removed in error can follow the appeal process.
The Iranian government's spokesman, Ali Rabiei, called the move "anti-democratic". As he wrote on Twitter: "With an undemocratic and shameless act, Instagram is blocking the innocent voice of the nation's protest over the killing of General # Soleimani, while real terrorists have the freedom to speak."
In an undemocratic and unashamed act, Instagram has blocked an innocent nations' voice protesting the assassination ofGeneral #Soleimani, while the real terrorists have been given an open voice. The stick behind democracy and media freedom is displayed in the nick of time.
- Alirabiei (@Alirabiei_ir) January 6, 2020
Now, Iranian state media have said that the government has called for national legal action against Instagram and has set up a portal where Iranians can upload posts that have been removed. As Coda Story reported last November Iran blocked access to the Internet for a whole week, which was seen by many as the forerunner of a complete shutdown of the world Web. With the new data, it is very likely that government of the country to further intensify media censorship.
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