Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta has blacklisted the Facebook and Instagram accounts of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei due to repeated violations of policies against dangerous individuals and organizations. The permanent suspension came after Khamenei called to “wipe Israel off the map.”
The New York Post reports that Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has permanently banned Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei from its platforms. The company stated this action was taken in response to Khamenei’s repeated calls to “wipe Israel off the map” and referring to Israel as a “cancerous tumor” that will be “uprooted and destroyed.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
Khamenei’s Persian and English-language Instagram accounts, which had over 5 million followers combined, along with his official Facebook page, were removed for violating Meta’s rules against dangerous individuals and organizations. Meta said Khamenei’s comments qualified as hate speech that justified the ban.
The Iranian despot has long used inflammatory language against Israel, which Iran considers its top adversary. In October 2022, following attacks between Israel and Hamas that left over 1,000 dead, Khamenei wrote on Twitter that “the cancer of the usurper Zionist regime will be eradicated at the hands of the Palestinian people and the Resistance forces throughout the region.”
While Twitter has not banned Khamenei, pro-Israel groups have been lobbying social media platforms to take down his accounts due to repeated calls for violence. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all blocked within Iran, but Khamenei maintained accounts on these platforms to reach international audiences.
Meta’s removal of Khamenei comes several years after he first advocated for Israel’s destruction. Experts say social media companies are now more proactive in enforcing policies against state-backed hate speech, but question why action wasn’t taken sooner in this case. Khamenei’s banning has been hailed by Israeli officials and Jewish groups as an overdue step to curb dangerous propaganda.
Read more at the New York Post here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.