On Thursday, Meta made an announcement that it had taken action to remove the Facebook and Instagram accounts associated with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, due to “violations” of content policy.
The decision was made after these accounts were found to repeatedly breach Meta’s policy.
A spokesperson for Meta conveyed to AFP, “We have removed these accounts for repeatedly violating our dangerous organisations and individuals policy.”
While Meta did not explicitly mention the ongoing genocide in Gaza Strip by Israel killing over 27,000 Palestinians so far, the company had been facing mounting pressure to ban Khamenei.
Khamenei had expressed support for the Hamas attack, which was carried out on October 7 in response to decades-long occupational crimes committed by Israel, although he denied any direct Iranian involvement.
Additionally, he publicly endorsed Hamas’ actions and advocated for Palestinian retaliation against Israel’s attacks on Gaza, as well as condoning the assaults on shipping in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
Khamenei, who has held power in Iran for 35 years, had amassed a significant following of five million on Instagram.
The Meta policy explicitly states, “In an effort to prevent and disrupt real-world harm, we do not allow organisations or individuals that proclaim a violent mission or are engaged in violence to have a presence on our platforms.”