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Instagram Is Taking Down Posts Supporting Lt. Qassem Soleimani
By Staff, Agencies
Instagram has been removing posts supporting Lieutenant Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] who was assassinated by an American strike on January 3, CNN reports.
Instagram's actions were first spotted by the nonprofit news organization Coda. In statements to both news organizations, Facebook-owned Instagram said it was taking down the posts to comply with so-called US sanctions laws.
“We review content against our policies and our obligations to US sanctions laws, and specifically those related to the US government’s designation of the IRGC and its leadership as a terrorist organization,” Facebook said in a statement to Ars Technica.
After the Trump administration designated the IRGC a “terrorist organization” last April, Instagram deleted accounts connected to the IRGC. But the latest takedowns seem to be more wide-ranging – removing posts commenting on Soleimani's martyrdom by people without a direct connection to him or the IRGC.
The International Federation of Journalists [IFJ] reported last week that at least 15 Iranian journalists have had their accounts suspended since Soleimani's assassination. "Some accounts of Iranian newspapers and news agencies have now been removed from the social media platform," the IFJ wrote.
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