Meta removes Iranian leader from Facebook, Instagram over pro-Hamas rhetoric

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, deleted the accounts associated with Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei due to pro-Hamas rhetoric following the militant group’s surprise attack on Israel last October that sparked the ongoing war in the region.

While the social media company did not offer specifics on why the accounts were removed, it did emphasize its commitment to pull accounts that violate its Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy, according to The Associated Press.

“We do not allow organizations or individuals that proclaim a violent mission or are engaged in violence to have a presence on our platforms,” the policy states, per the AP. “That includes those designated as terrorists by the U.S. government.”

Khamenei has been on the U.S. sanction radar before, particularly when former President Trump was in office and tensions heightened over the U.S. government’s decision to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal.

Instagram and Facebook are banned in Iran — and the platforms have already been pressured to remove the accounts associated with the leader, the AP reported.

Khamenei supported Hamas’s attack on southern Israel, which left 1,200 Israelis dead and more than 200 people taken captive, but he denied any involvement in the strikes. He has also supported attacks on U.S. and allies’ ships in the Red Sea that were initiated by Houthi rebels in Yemen, according to French newswire Agence France-Presse.

Hamas is designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Khamenei still has an account on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The head of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, celebrated the decision by Meta.

“We’ve long asked @Meta to take down the Facebook & Instagram accounts of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei & applaud that it’s finally happened,” Greenblatt wrote in a Thursday post on X. “He’s used these platforms for years to incite violent antisemitism, to legitimize militant antizionism and to make genocidal threats.”

The Hill has reached out to Meta for comment.

The Associated Press contributed.

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