Meta announced Thursday that it has banned the Facebook and Instagram accounts of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for violating its content policy. "We have removed these accounts for repeatedly violating our policy on dangerous organizations and individuals," a Meta spokesperson told AFP.
Although Meta did not mention the Israel–Hamas war, the company was under pressure to impose sanctions on the leader after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7. After the attack, Khamenei supported the bloody rampage by Hamas, but denied any Iranian involvement.
He has publicly supported Palestinian retaliation against Israel's bombing of Gaza as well as attacks on shipping in the Red Sea by Yemen's Houthi rebels.
Khamenei, who has been in power in Iran for 35 years, has 5 million followers on Instagram. Meta said, "In an effort to prevent and disrupt real-world harm, we do not allow organizations or individuals that proclaim violent missions or are engaged in violence to have a presence on our platforms." Takes decisions as per policy."
"Glorification, support, and representation of various dangerous organizations and individuals are removed from the site," Meta said, adding that Hamas has been designated a foreign terrorist organization by the US. Instagram and Facebook are banned in Iran but Iranians use Virtual Private Networks or VPNs to bypass the restrictions and access restricted websites or apps.