Facebook has admitted to selectively censoring pro-Iranian government Instagram posts about the murdered General Soleimani, as US President Donald Trump hypocritically championed free speech and warned Tehran against censorship.
Instagram has confirmed that they have been removing posts that voice support for Qassem Soleimani, with a Facebook spokesperson claiming that censorship is fully justified in order to comply with US sanctions. Instagram is one of the few social media platforms that is not blocked in Iran, and it is where many within the country went to fuel outrage over the US assassination strike in Iraq last week.
This is especially disgusting because Instagram is very popular in Iran, where Soleimani has 82% approval
So Big Tech overlords are basically saying Iranians do not get the right to free speech because of US gov sanctions
The US empire trumps free speechhttps://t.co/BthPuxgOBC
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) January 11, 2020
The International Federation of Journalists condemned the censorship effort as “unprecedented in the history of social networks and in conflict with the very innate actuality of media.” In its letter to Instagram, the AoIJ Teheran noted that numerous Iranian state media accounts had been removed and 15 journalists had been censored recently, which goes against and freedom of speech principles.
“These massive Big Tech corporations are Thought Police for the US government: Facebook and Instagram are removing posts expressing support for Iran’s top general Soleimani,” tweeted journalist Ben Norton. “They say it’s to comply with US sanctions, but how do posts violate sanctions?”
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The US government designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization last year, in an unprecedented move against a sovereign nation’s military. The IRGC’s elite Quds Force, led by Soleimani, was among those forces that turned the tide against the Islamic State terrorist ‘caliphate’ in Syria. But technically, since Washington considers him a terrorist, Facebook has a convenient excuse to sensor any posts critical of the US extrajudicial assassination strike.
Any support for Soleimani will be taken down by Facebook and Instagram to comply with the USA sanctions but Trump can tweet that Iran should not close down the internet because the world is watching. He wouldn’t understand the irony of his tweet. Free speech, censorship anyone?
— Jennifer Brierley (@JenniferBrierl2) January 11, 2020
While Facebook was acting as ‘thought police’ on behalf of the US government, Washington has been championing free speech and warning Tehran government against restricting Iranian people’s internet access. The US President Donald Trump personally addressed anti-government protesters in the streets of Iran – in Farsi mind you – reassuring them of unwavering support.
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