Facebook Bans Iran’s Press TV Page in Attack on Freedom of Speech

Facebook Bans Iran’s Press TV Page in Attack on Freedom of Speech

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian media outlet Press TV condemned Facebook for “censorship” after it once again shut down the main page of the English-language media outlet.

“Without any prior warning, Facebook informed Press TV on Friday that its account had been shut down for what it claimed to be the Iranian news channel’s failure to ‘follow our Community Standards,’” the outlet reported, calling the ban “yet another attack by the US-based social media giant on Iranian media outlets.”

“We have already reviewed this decision and it can’t be reversed,” said Facebook in a note, without specifying the so-called violations of its rules.

Despite its claims of providing a platform for freedom of speech, the social media behemoth has repeatedly targeted Press TV.

This isn't the news organization's first brush with the social media site. The outlet's website, which has more than 4 million followers, was blocked earlier this year without any "warning or clarification,". Despite Facebook's argument that the ban was "permanent," the page was reinstated only a few hours later after the outlet lodged an appeal.

In June 2020, Facebook labeled Press TV, Russia’s Sputnik, and China’s Xinhua news agency as “state-media,” saying it would block them from running advertisements in the United States, which views the three countries as its arch-adversaries.

Some observers voiced suspicion after the earlier ban, Press TV itself, meanwhile, suggested it might have stemmed from its own coverage of the “shocking post-election violence in the US,” after which thousands of social media accounts across several sites were sent down the memory hole, many without any apparent justification.

Facebook had in 2018 targeted hundreds of accounts it claimed had ties to Iran and Russia under the pretext of fighting “misinformation” campaigns.

Press TV has repeatedly been subjected to censorship on several platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as Google and its services.

Although American social media sites are quick to silence Iranian media under the guise of "regulation breaches," they give anti-Muslim hate groups and Iranophobes a free hand under the guise of "freedom of speech" in a clear double standard.

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