US, Pro-Israel Lobby behind Facebook's Decision to Ban Press TV
- March, 29, 2021 - 15:59
- Society/Culture news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The recent shutdown of Press TV’s Facebook page was due to pressure being exerted on the US-based social media platform by the pro-Israel lobby and others in Washington to suppress pro-Palestinian positions, a Canada-based author and commentator said.
Facebook has “conceded a great deal to Israel lobby’s desire to suppress pro-Palestinian positions and I think shutting down Press TV’s account fits within that dynamic,” Yves Engler said Monday in an interview with the Iran-based news network.
“We’re talking about a company (FB) that has more power over what people hear, learn, (and) read than any company in history and that’s a power we need to be very cautious about,” Engler added.
The remarks came after Facebook once again and permanently shut down the page of Press TV on Friday in yet another attack by the giant American firm against Iranian media outlets.
Without any prior warning, Facebook informed Press TV that its account had been shut down for what it claimed as the Iranian news channel’s failure to “follow our Community Standards.”
“We have already reviewed this decision and it can’t be reversed,” the company added in a note, without specifying the so-called violations of its rules.
Censuring what he described as Facebook’s double standards, Engler went on to emphasize, “When Facebook shuts down Press TV’s account without any explanation or any way to remedy the situation… that’s a level of power that everyone needs to be concerned about.”
He also attributed Facebook’s reckless censorship of content to its close links to and pressures exerted by what he referred to as the imperial US government, the Israeli regime, the UK, Canada and the NATO military alliance, saying that such entities cannot tolerate the publication of perspectives that challenge their world view.
“It seems that Facebook deems the criticism of Zionism as out of bound,” Engler further observed.
Press TV has repeatedly fallen victim to censorship not just on Facebook but on multiple platforms, including Twitter and Instagram besides Google and its services.
While American social media platforms do not hesitate to silence the voice of Iranian media under the pretext of “policy violations,” they offer a free hand to anti-Muslim hate groups and Iranophobes under the banner of freedom of expression in a blatant double-standard policy.
Facebook has on a number of occasions attacked Press TV, despite its claim of providing space for freedom of expression.
One such attack took place in mid-January, when Facebook temporarily shut down Press TV’s page, which had more than four million followers. The news outlet, however, had its page restored after appealing the platform’s decision to remove it.
In June 2020, Facebook labeled Iran’s 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.
Facebook had in 2018 targeted hundreds of accounts it claimed were tied to Iran and Russia under the pretext of fighting “misinformation” campaigns.