Wed, 04 Oct 2023

A London-based Persian-language television station says tech giant Meta has removed a large number of videos from its Instagram page that were related to the protests in Iran and which were shared by the station with its 10 million followers. It says Meta has also prevented the publication of new posts and videos.

Nationwide demonstrations erupted in Iran recently over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was taken into police custody for allegedly breaking the country's strictly enforced Islamic dress code.

Manoto TV, a free-to-air general entertainment channel, said that among the deleted posts is a video of Iranian protesters chanting 'death to the killer patrols' -- a reference to the notorious morality police patrols that have become increasingly active and violent. Instagram has argued that the video violates its guidelines.

Manoto TV also said Instagram has removed from its page a September 20 video message by Reza Pahlavi, the exiled former crown prince of Iran, addressing the protesters.

In the past, journalists and social media activists reported that Meta had also removed many posts related to protests in Iran, especially posts with the slogan 'Death to Khamenei,' a reference to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Many Iranians complain that their Instagram posts related to anti-government protests in Iran have been blocked by other Iranians who work for Instagram's content-review subcontractor.

Manoto TV also told RFERL's Radio Farda that the removal of the posts from its Instagram page was a result of the actions of content-review subcontractors.

Furthermore, Bammad Esmaili, a German-based Iranian journalist, had quoted several sources from the German branch of Telus International, a Canadian contractor that provides content moderation on Instagram, as saying that the Iranian government has offered financial rewards for the deletion of accounts opposing the Iranian government.

'We are talking about 5,000 to 10,000 euros per account deleted,' Esmaili said.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036

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